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Looking for people who've taken a MOOC


So, who out there has tried out a MOOC?

For those of you not hip to the biggest higher-education buzzword (buzz acronym?) of the last year or so, MOOC stands for "massive open online courses." Those are exactly what they sound like: college courses with thousands of students, offered for free online.

Several outfits offering MOOCs — some nonprofit ventures, others for-profit companies — have sprung up, including Coursera, Udacity and edX. Many of the courses are offered by faculty from top universities such as Harvard, Stanford and Princeton.

While some universities have jumped on the MOOC boat, others aren't, at least not yet. KU isn't offering any MOOCs. And a lot of things about the trend are unclear: What's in it for universities, how these companies will make a profit (though Coursera announced one possible way this week), what effect they'll have on higher education or if they'll ever have a less funny-sounding name. As of yet, you can't earn a degree, or even any course credit, via MOOCs.

I'm hoping soon to look into what the trend might mean for KU. But I'd also like to hear from folks who've taken a MOOC about why you jumped in, what you've gotten out of it and more. I'm going to bet at least a few people in Lawrence have given it a try.

So, please, if you're a MOOC-er, let me know. Send me a note at merickson@ljworld.com. (That email address, of course, is also where you should send all your KU news tips.)


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