Monday, September 7, 2015

The MOOC Revolution that Wasn't

Three years ago I wrote a review of "Udacity Statistics 101" that went semi-viral, finding the MOOC course to be slapdash, unplanned, and in many cases pure nonsense (link). I wound up personally corresponding with Sebastian Thrun (Stanford professor, founder of Udacity, head of Google's auto-car project) over it, and came away super skeptical of his work. Today here's a fantastic article about the fallen hopes for MOOCs and Thrun's Udacity in particular -- highly recommended, jealous that I didn't write this.
Just a few short years after promising higher education for anyone with an Internet connection, MOOCs have scaled back their ambitions, content to become job training for the tech sector and for students who already have college degrees...

"In 50 years,” Thrun told Wired, “there will be only 10 institutions in the world delivering higher education and Udacity has a shot at being one of them.”

Three years later, Thrun and the other MOOC startup founders are now telling a different story. The latest tagline used by Thrun to describe his company: “Uber for Education.”
I want to quote the whole thing here; probably best that you just go and read it. Big kudos to Audrey Waters for writing this (and tip to Cathy O'Neil for sharing a link).


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