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MOOCWatch 20: Coursera’s Acquisition; Udacity’s New CEO; Top 100 MOOCs of All Time

Coursera acquires Rhyme Softworks, MOOC-based degrees continue to break new ground, and Udacity looks forward to renewed growth after several months of restructuring.

With many MOOC stories focussing on careers, this article written by a professor at Tsinghua University is a reminder that MOOCs can fill different roles in people’s lives. Even with the limitations of Google Translate, it’s an interesting read. Thanks to our newest team member Rui from China for this link.

While MOOCs are often not accredited courses, more and more universities are releasing MOOC-based degrees. In India, some MOOCs can be used for transferable credit through SWAYAM and there are plans for Europe’s largest MOOC platforms to create a MOOC framework for portable, credit-bearing microcredentials.

The last time we published MOOCWatch, Udacity was looking for a new CEO and finally, the search is over. Class Central’s Manoel reports on the drastic changes Udacity made under Sebastian Thrun’s leadership between the two CEOs.

Earlier this year, Class Central made a small but significant change to our domain name when www.class-central.com became www.classcentral.com Any links you have bookmarked should continue to be functional indefinitely.

New MOOCWatch Editor

Hi, I’m Pat. I have been an obsessive MOOC-taker since late 2012. Dhawal (founder of Class Central) thought I might like another challenge after completing more than 100 MOOCs, so asked me to edit MOOCWatch. With the last issue published in November 2018, Dhawal also hopes I can be more punctual than he was and bring the publication out regularly.

Quick Navigation

Top Stories

Top 100 MOOCs (2019 edition) via Class Central
More reviews, more courses. We’ve expanded the list from 50 to 100, based on tens of thousands of user reviews.

Coursera acquires Rhyme Softworks via TechCrunch
A new feature called Coursera Labs is powered in part by Rhyme technology which allows developers build hands-on, virtual e-learning projects.

Udacity’s Restructure via Class Central
With a new CEO in place after major changes in 2018 and 2019, Udacity is looking forward to a bright future.

MOOC-Based iMBA to Replace On-Campus MBA via Class Central
The University of Illinois will replace their on-campus MBA with the fully online version.

Coursera - Product at every price
Different revenue streams for Coursera which made them $140 million in 2018

Coursera’s Monetization Journey via Class Central
Coursera used to be completely free. Now they make over $100+ million dollars every year. Here is how they did it.

MOOC Providers Around The World via Class Central
If you’re looking for MOOCs from different countries and languages, this 2019 update is our latest catalog of MOOC platforms.

India’s national MOOC platform via Class Central
An updated list of 500+ free online courses from 70+ universities on SWAYAM. Some courses may be used by students enrolled in India’s higher education to earn academic credit.

NetEase Youdao via PingWest
NetEase Youdao, an online education subsidiary of China’s major internet technology company NetEase, has merged two education services, “NetEase Cloud Classroom” and “China University MOOC,” under its brand.

Learn English online via Class Central
Resources and courses to improve your English proficiency.

FutureLearn Unlimited via Class Central
For a single payment, you can access FutureLearn’s catalogue and certificates for a year.

SEEK invests in both Coursera and FutureLearn via Class Central
Australian employment company SEEK has made large investments in both Coursera and FutureLearn.

5 Ways to Market a MOOC via Class Central
You’ve made your MOOC, now let the world know about it. Here are some marketing strategies.

You need a LinkedIn profile to access Lynda.com courses via zdnet
Some people are unhappy that they now have to join LinkedIn.

EdX Executive Team Appointments via edX
Two new executives and two promotions within edX.

FutureLearn survey of teachers via FutureLearn
Teachers who take online courses are keen to access practical, downloadable content that can be used easily in the classroom.

Unstable internet via Class Central
Find out how to learn online even if your electricity or internet is unreliable.

You can find more items at Class Central’s MOOCReport, where we bring the news to you from a range of sources.

MOOC-based Degrees

Online master’s degree in Spanish is coming via Uniandes
Universidad de los Andes is working with Coursera to produce the first online Master’s Degree in Software Engineering in Spanish.

Online MBA with Boston University and edX via Class Central
10 MOOC-based master’s degrees are now available through edX.

Teaching ethics in Georgia Tech CS courses via TechCrunch
Georgia Tech is emphasizing the ethics of AI and related fields under their new computer science dean.

Some numbers below.

Georgia Tech OMSCS:

  • Launched: 2013
  • Enrollment: around 9,000
  • Graduates: > 2,000

University of Illinois iMBA:

  • Launched: January 2016
  • Enrollment: >2,500 representing 47 states in the US and 90 different citizenships
  • Age: 22 to 61 years
  • Average work experience: 12 years
  • The iMBA is set to replace the on-campus version


Coming up:

Learning with MOOCs VI (LWMOOCs) October 23-25 Milwaukee, WI, USA. Look out for Class Central’s presentations on India’s SWAYAM platform and MOOC Monetization.

The World Conference on Online Learning Nov 3-7 in Dublin, Ireland will focus on how online learning can transform lives and societies.

Open Education Global Conference November 26-28 Milan, Italy. This year’s conference theme is Open Education for an Open Future.

2019 edX Global Forum November 11-13 in Hong Kong is open only to edX partners. If your institute partners with edX, you may be eligible to attend.

Class Central News

As Class Central grows, we are including some behind-the-scenes information. Here are some stories from the last few months.

Monthly course reports have been a big part of Class Central since the early days and now they have a new home. Bookmark them for easy discovery of the latest courses.

We set up the Class Central Help Center to answer common questions about MOOCs, Class Central and some large providers.

MOOCWatch is a 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, such as course popularity rankings, sourced from Class Central. Tell your colleagues about MOOCWatch.

Pat Bowden Profile Image

Pat Bowden

Online learning specialist, still learning after 150+ MOOCs completed since 2012. Class Central customer support and help since 2018. I am keen to help others make the most of online learning, so I set up a website:  www.onlinelearningsuccess.org

Comments 3

  1. Stephanie

    Thanks for this very useful update. Are you able to clarify whether the enrollment number of around 9,000 for the Georgia Tech OMSCS represent current enrollment or total enrollees since inception?.

    • Manoel

      It’s current enrollments.

  2. Lee J Lalka

    Thanks for the information!


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