Wednesday, 21 August 2013


The hype and excitement around MOOCs in education is fascinating to watch (esp from the inside). The disruption that this type of education is set to bring to tertiary level education is very marked. With analogies being bandied around like Wikipedia and Encyclopedias, Amazon and Books, iTunes and Music stores. All significant transformations in those industries with winners and losers and generally a 'better' experience for the consumers/customers.

UNSW has signed on with Coursera as their partner for entering the MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) game and will launch courses on the platform in 2014. The idea that MOOCs might be a silly fad or just all hot-air looks pretty silly when you see the calibre of the institutions kicking off this movement. When you have course offerings from MIT, Princeton, Stanford followed by a host more you know this isnt just playing.

This also isn't something that will come sometime in the future, when Georgia Tech announced its $7K Masters program last week the changes are already here. I really enjoyed the MOOC forum at the Park Hyatt where Sean Gallagher and Geoff Garret hosted a panel with Daphne Koller, Fred Hilmer and Andrew Stevens titled "What MOOCs mean for universities - revolution or evolution?". Andrew Stevens (Managing Director of IBM Australia and New Zealand) was certainly saying this change will be so fast that evolution by individual universities isn't going to be fast enough. The forum covered quality, business models, value propositions and much more.

Without going into a long post on my thoughts regarding MOOCs (even though I see the disruption for tertiary education being massive) - I and several collegues here have enrolled in the Videogames and Learning MOOC that is starting in early October and will be a nice way to see a modern MOOC in action as well as get a feel for the Coursera platform.

Here is a rough list of some of the larger or more interesting MOOC aggregators/services:

One think I liked most from the forum was hearing Coursera founder Daphne Koller say things like "we have uncovered a deep hunger for education". Newslink for the UNSW and Coursera signing.

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