Until now, massive open online courses have mostly reinforced existing hierarchies in higher education. MOOC providers have recruited elite institutions and offered them and their professors the opportunity to broadcast their courses to the world.
But now edX, a nonprofit provider founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is joining forces with Google to create a spinoff Web site where ordinary folks—and professors at colleges that have not been invited to join high-profile MOOC consortiums—can not only sign up for a MOOC but also build one themselves.
The new site, MOOC.org, will provide tools and a platform that “will allow any academic institution, business, and individual to create and host online courses,” says a blog post by Dan Clancy, a research director at Google. In an interview, Anant Agarwal, president of edX, referred to the site as a “YouTube for courses.”
As such, MOOC.org is likely to be more freewheeling than edX proper. The new site is similar, perhaps, to Udemy—which also welcomes anyone, professor or otherwise, to teach a course on its platform. Mr. Agarwal said it had not yet been determined whether edX would keep MOOC.org courses free of misinformation and copyrighted material (the latter having been a big problem for YouTube itself).
Read full post here. (Originally posted September 10, 2013)