At the recently concluded EMOOCs conference, the then-CEO of Coursera Rick Levin shared an interesting data point: 89% of Coursera learners are over the age of 22. The conversation in the early years of the MOOC space was based around their disruption to universities. Rick argues that MOOCs’ biggest impact is not in transforming universities but in disrupting the labor market. The real audience for MOOCs are “lifelong career learners,” and they are usually between 22–45 years old. MOOC providers help universities reach these older learners.
Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn, reiterated some of Rick’s points in his own talk (which was immediately after Rick Levin’s talk). According to Simon, FutureLearn is no longer a MOOC platform but is a catalyst and an enabler for its partner’s digital transformation. Simon was previously at the BBC, which he helped with its digital transformation — including the launch of iPlayer.
You can see Rick Levin’s and Simon Nelson’s EMOOCs 2017 keynotes here.
In other news, Rick Levin has been replaced as the CEO of Coursera, but not before raising a massive $64 million Series D funding round.
NEW CEOS Coursera and Udemy both got new CEOs. Jeff Maggioncalda took over from Rick Levin at Coursera. He previously co-founded and spent eighteen years leading Financial Engines, including taking it public. Rick Levin will stay on as a senior advisor.
Unlike Coursera’s transition, Udemy’s happened quietly. Kevin Johnson, previously CEO of Ebates, took over from Dennis Yang with very little fanfare.
Panel: Anant Agarwal, Carolina Jeux Conde, Rick Levin, and Simon Nelson.
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid hosted the EMOOCs conference and the Open edX conference back-to-back at the end of May 2017. The CEOs of Coursera, FutureLearn, and edX gave keynotes during this five-day conference. Videos from the EMOOCs conference have been posted on YouTube. EMOOCs 2018 will be held in the Netherlands next year, and it will be combined with The Open Education Global Conference.
COURSERA SERIES Dvia Class Central Before stepping down as Coursera’s CEO, Rick Levin left a massive gift for the new CEO — a $64 million Series D funding round. Coursera will use the money to aggressively increase its headcount and further expand its new business lines, Corporate Learning and Online Degrees.
FULL-CREDIT ONLINE RESIDENTIAL COURSEvia MIT
Last fall MIT ran a pilot in which a small cohort of residential students could earn credit via a completely online course. The course chosen for this pilot was none other than edX CEO Anant Agrawal’s 6.002 (Circuits and Electronics). Thirty-one students enrolled in the experimental online course and twenty-seven completed it.
DECODING EDX’S NEWEST CREDENTIALvia Class Central EdX announced yet another MOOC-based credential: Professional Certificate Programs. Depending on how you look at it, this makes it the third or fourth credential that edX offers. Class Central takes a look at what edX could be looking to achieve in launching “another” certificate program.
xuetangX and Stanford University signed an MOU on Course Development, A I, Adaptative Learning and other important education aspects.#Moocpic.twitter.com/HTC3ZZynqA
XuetangX, the biggest MOOC provider in China with over seven million students, signed a MOU with Stanford University. XuetangX also partnered with Lagos University (Nigeria) to launch an online education platform to promote engineering education in Africa. According to the press release by XuetangX, sixteen courses will be launched on the English version of the platform. At the time of writing, Class Central could not reach the website mentioned in the press release.
BEST DATA SCIENCE CURRICULUM via Class Central David Venturi finally published the final part of his six-piece series that recommends the best MOOCs for launching yourself into the data science industry. It’s been an epic journey encompassing more than 270 days since David started working on this Data Science Career Guide. Here are the links to the first five parts:
Udacity has expanded its blended learning initiative, known as Udacity Connect, to a fourteenth city. These fourteen cities are in nine different countries. This time it will launch in the Reno-Tahoe region in Nevada, U.S. Class Central spoke to Salwa Muhammad, VP of Udacity Connect, to learn more about Udacity’s blended learning initiative.
CREDIT FOR ONLINE COURSES IN INDIAvia Deccan Herald India’s official MOOC platform, SWAYAM, finally launched in August last year. It was first announced in 2014. Since its launch, 60,000 students have completed courses on the platform. One of the long-term goals of SWAYAM was to enable students from Indian universities and colleges to earn credit via online courses. There is finally some progress on this end; the Indian government has released a list of 263 undergraduate and postgraduate courses for which credits can be earned. The government has asked “universities and autonomous colleges to immediately select and approve courses from the list they would allow their students to pursue.” Students can earn up to 20% of their credits via SWAYAM online courses.
COURSE SCHEDULINGvia Dr. Chuck Popular MOOC instructor Dr. Chuck shares his thoughts on Sessions vs Self-Paced courses on Coursera. Dr. Chuck also plans to move his Coursera Specialization to Python 3 (from Python 2).
Dr.Chuck’s Coursera Office Hours in Denver, CO, May 18 2017.
LINKEDIN LEARNING RECOMMENDATIONSvia Class Central LinkedIn started recommending courses from LinkedIn Learning on all member profile pages. They’re shown on the right-hand sidebar, below the “People also viewed” section. The courses that are recommended are based on the skills of the member’s profile.
Sebastian Thrun, Founder of Udacity, profiled on CNBC.
Learners in India can now “purchase” certain edX courses via Snapdeal, one of India’s biggest online shopping portals. This is not the first time edX has done such a deal: as we reported early this year, edX has also put a few of its courses on Amazon. In either case, most of the courses (if not all) are free to take on edX. What learners are actually paying for is the course certificate, but this information is not conveyed on Snapdeal or Amazon.
Higher School of Economics (Russia) crossed one million enrollments for their courses on Coursera. They launched a video celebrating this milestone.
MOOCWatch is a monthly digest of information related to MOOCs meant for professors and administrators, or others who are involved in education and want to stay up-to-date in the MOOC space. In addition to broad coverage, MOOCWatch also contains unique data sourced from Class Central (such as course popularity rankings). To subscribe to MOOCWatch, visit classcentral.com/moocwatch
Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.