Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Stanford courses online

Stanford University is offering more of its courses online for free to anyone.

http://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=55991

What does this mean for other universities and college education long-term?

"Christos Porios is a 16‐year‐old high school student who lives in
Alexandropoulos, Greece. He has never seen the Stanford campus: never gazed
up Palm Drive on a September morning, walked around the Quad or pedaled
across White Plaza. He has no real ties to the University. Yet he credits a
Stanford course with changing his life.
Porios was among an astonishing 100,000 people who signed up last fall for an
experimental online course on applied machine learning, the science of getting
computers to act without being explicitly programmed. Computer science
professor Andrew Ng designed the course for Stanford students, but at the last
minute he decided to make his digitally recorded lectures, exams and
programming assignments available online to anyone, free of charge."

My own opinion is that online education is a reality, and some aspects of traditional university teaching will change, and in some cases change dramatically. It's likely a small number of schools will choose to retain traditional teaching modes, but many more will have to embrace asynchronous, a-localized teaching processes. What will "brand" mean in that context?

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