Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

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If you haven’t yet heard of the Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, you will soon.  A MOOC is a course that is presented online in such a way that very large numbers of students are able to attend.  Naturally the student-teacher ratio is a bit skewed in a MOOC, but the concept is still being worked out and is yet to be matured.  But the interest is strong.  The first recognized MOOC seems to be a 2008 course that involved over 2200 students.

Companies like Coursera, edX, and others have entered the MOOC market and are augmenting university offerings with technological advances.  Coursera was founded by computer science professors at Silicon Valley’s Stanford University, a fountain of dot-com success stories.  And as of January 2013, Coursera has obtained college credit approval for five of its courses from the American Council on Education.  Those courses include Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, and two others: Bioelectricity and a course in genetics.  Exams are independently proctored by ProcturU, another cloud-based service that proctors exames online via webcam.

Keep an eye on Coursera and the MOOC phenomenon.



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