A bunch of recent news links I have been meaning to post for a while

In a not very particular order, here are some links I’ve come across in the last couple of months (from around mid-December until now) to post that I thought are relevant to MOOCs (and related moments) in the news:

Coding Boot Camps Enter the Ivy League

“Coding Boot Camps” are training programs (usually for profit and not for college credit) being marketed to folks who want to/need to get into learning some computer code. Think of the “English major” who wants to shift into tech with some courses in web development or JavaScript or whatever. “Just as MOOCs have found a way to keep their post-hype relevance — see these offerings from Coursera and edX, for example — boot camps continue to make inroads.”

5 Misconceptions About Online Program Management Providers

A lot of the talk about OPMs– especially from faculty-types who oppose all outsourcing and private/public partnerships– is negative, but Joshua Kim here takes a more nuanced approach. “Is it possible to be a critical and clear-eyed observer of the OPM industry and still believe that an OPM partnership should be on the table as institutions consider new online programs? I think the answer is yes, as I’ve come to believe that (a) the OPM industry is more complicated and nuanced than we often think, and (b) we need to think about OPM partnerships in a different way.”

I agree with most of what he has to talk about here, though I also think my own institution’s leadership is basing our strategy for some online programs and reasons for partnering with an OPM on at least three of these misconceptions. I talk about all of that in some detail in the last chapter of the book.

Purdue’s Online Strategy, Beyond ‘Global’

Kind of a long-ish explainer article that I think captures the idea of what’s going on at Purdue right now, which is probably the most extreme example/experiment of these kinds of public/private partnerships. In the nutshell, instead of contracting with an OPM to provide some support and marketing for non-traditional and online programs, Purdue just bought the for-profit online university Kaplan and is using its resources to offer degree and non-degree programs.

Coursera Targets Health-Care Education Market

Another good example about how one of the original big for-profit MOOC providers has continued to shift its offerings. Interesting enough (at least according to this article), Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller– who had stepped away from direct involvement in the company a while ago– is heavily involved in this effort.

Chinese gov’t recommends online courses to boost MOOC

MOOCs might not be having as big of an impact on the way higher ed works in the US as MOOC entrepreneurs would have liked, but MOOCs are still important in other places of the world.


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