8 minute read  written by  . Published on June 22, 2017

MOOCWatch #15 - MOOCs Find Their Audience

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.

If you like MOOCWatch, I would also recommend subscribing to FutureLearn’s Chris Fellingham’s Education Intelligence newsletter or Sophie Bailey’s The Edtech Podcast.


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TOP STORIES

MOOC Providers around the world

MOOC PROVIDERS WORLDWIDE via Class Central
A list of 30 MOOC providers around the world.

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.

EMOOCS 2017

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 D via 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 COURSE via 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.

A Preliminary Assessment of an MIT Campus Experiment with an edX Online Course
For-credit MOOC proves popular among MIT students
KF: A Glimpse of the Future of Education (Blog post from a student who earned credit for the course.)

DECODING EDX’S NEWEST CREDENTIAL via 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

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:

  1. The Best Intro to Programming Courses for Data Science
  2. The Best Statistics & Probability Courses for Data Science
  3. The Best Intro to Data Science Courses
  4. The Best Data Visualization Courses
  5. The Best Machine Learning Courses

UDACITY’S BLENDED LEARNING INITIATIVE via Class Central

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.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP GOES MASSIVE via TechCrunch

Class Central Startup School Certificate

1,500 startups graduated from Y Combinator’s Startup School MOOC, and 797 of them have posted demo videos that anyone can watch. Class Central was one of the startups that successfully finished the program.
For 3,000 Startups, Y Combinator’s Class Is in Session Online — MIT Technology Review
Entrepreneurship Goes Massive: Y Combinator Attempts To Scale Its Startup Mentorship Program — Class Central

CREDIT FOR ONLINE COURSES IN INDIA via 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.

Related SWAYAM articles:

COURSE SCHEDULING via 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.

MORE COURSERA NEWS

Coursera hires former BlaBlaCar exec Raghav Gupta as India head — VCCircle
A Guide on How to Sign up for Coursera Courses for Free
Building Coursera | Coursera Engineering Podcast Episode 1: Javascript Technologies with Jon Wong

LINKEDIN LEARNING RECOMMENDATIONS via 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.

ADD TO CART via Deccan Chronicle

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.

MASSIVE ENROLLMENTS

TEN MOST POPULAR MOOCS via Class Central
The best new courses starting in June 2017.

MOOC COURSE REPORT via Class Central
A list of 1,500+ free online courses starting in June 2017.

NEW ONLINE COURSES AND MOOCs via Class Central
The list of 101 new courses added to Class Central in May 2017.

About MOOCWatch

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 class-central.com/moocwatch