In September 2012, UBC entered into an agreement with Coursera to deliver online web-based free courses as part of MOOCs.
- MOOCs stands for Massive Open Online Courses and has been characterized as the single most transformative and disruptive force in the global education industry of the millennium.
- UBC is one of thirty-three highly ranked post-secondary institutions, including Stanford and Princeton to enter into an agreement with Coursera.
- More than 2.4 million students around the globe are enrolled in more than the 200 free online classes provided by Coursera.
- UBC has four non-credit and free online courses planned for 2013. They include: Useful Genetics, Introduction to Systematic Program Design, Climate Literacy: Navigating Climate Conversations and Game Theory.
- The first course out the door is ‘Game Theory,’ which launched in early January.
- It’s an online course on ‘mathematical modeling of strategic interaction’ developed in tandem with two other professors from Stanford University. You can watch the introductory video on Youtube. In plain English: it’s all about winning and losing and using mathematics to predict outcomes.
- Over 130,000 students are enrolled in the course from 183 different countries.
- Dr. Kevin Leyton-Brown notes that one of the students is living in the Faroe Islands. The Faroe Islands lie northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway.
- Kevin says “It’s pretty evident that a large number of students would not have been reached by traditional universities . . . MOOCs are the next generation of the textbook. This is the wave of the future.”
- The Game Theory course incorporates short video, interactive game plays to work out the concepts, online labs and discussion forums.
- One of Kevin’s favourite tools is screen side chats using Google + Hangouts.
“We’re at 2.4 million students now. The biggest lesson I’ve learned on this is I underestimated the amount of impact this would have around the world. I really didn’t envision this scale and this impact this quickly.” -Daphne Koller, founder of Coursera
“What is exciting to me is that we are reaching a very different kind of student.” -Dr. Kevin Leyton-Brown
For further reading:
- Massive Open Online Courses at UBC, January 31, 2013
- Eight Brilliant Minds on the Future of Online Education, Harvard Business Review Blog, January 29, 2013