Center of Educational Technologies


Ten Most Popular MOOCs Starting in Jan 2015


We compile this list based on how many Class Central users have added a particular course to MOOC Tracker — our watchlist feature (courses have been added more than 140,000 times to MOOC Tracker). Courses that have been offered multiple times before are not included in this list.

Will MOOCs be Flukes?


On July 23rd, 1969, Geoffrey Crowther addressed the inaugural meeting of the Open University, a British institution that had just been created to provide an alternative to traditional higher education. Courses would be conducted by mail and live radio. The basic mission, Crowther declared, was a simple one: to be open to people from all walks of life. “The first, and most urgent task before us is to cater for the many thousands of people, fully capable of a higher education, who, for one reason or another, do not get it, or do not get as much of it as they can turn to advantage, or as they discover, sometimes too late, that they need,” he told his audience. “Men and women drop out through failures in the system,” he continued, “through disadvantages of their environment, through mistakes of their own judgment, through sheer bad luck. These are our primary material.” He then invoked the message emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty: Open University wanted the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. To them, most of all, it opened its doors. The mission Crowther described is the same one that has driven the proliferation of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, during the past few years. (Open University has often served as a sort of inspirational model for such ventures, which Nathan Heller wrote about last year in the magazine.) The premise of the MOOC movement is as commendable as it is democratic: quality education should not be a luxury good. MOOCs are flexible and they can be free; if people want an education, MOOCs can give it to them.

Riding the MOOC Learning Curve


Students all over the world are coming to grips with the gap between the theory of what international free trade should be and the reality of what it is through a new Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) offered by Professor of Strategic Management at Anderson School of Management Douglas Thomas. Thomas’ class in the Global Business Environment has attracted more than 8,000 students from 157 countries. His MOOC on the Global Business Environment is the third that the University of New Mexico is offering through Coursera, and the first course offered in both English and Spanish.

Impacts of MOOCs on Higher Education


An international group of higher education institutions—including UT Arlington, Stanford University, Hong Kong University and Davidson College—convened by learning researcher and theorist George Siemens gathered last week to explore the impacts of MOOCs on higher education (full list of participating institutions below). The takeaway? Higher education is going digital, responding to the architecture of knowledge in a digital age, and MOOCs, while heavily criticized, have proven a much-needed catalyst for the development of progressive programs that respond to the changing world.

Blackboard and Discovery Education Partner to Support the Use of Digital Content in Higher Education


 Blackboard Inc. and Discovery Education today announced a powerful new partnership supporting the integration of digital content into university and community college courses nationwide. Through the partnership, higher education faculty and students can now access Discovery Education's dynamic digital media through Blackboard's teaching and learning environment and on their mobile devices. In addition, the two companies are building a K-12 focused integration with plans to launch later this year.

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