Udacity CEO Says MOOC 'Magic Formula' Emerging

David F. Carr, Rosa Luxemberg Siftung, Aug 20, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Sebastian Thrun has figured out MOOCs, he says. "The thing I'm insanely proud of right now is I think we've found the magic formula," he said in an interview last week. "Had you asked me three months ago, I wouldn't have said that. I'm not at the point where everything is great. There are a lot of things to be improved, a lot of mistakes we're making, but I see it coming together." So what is the magic formula? Don't do MOOCs, do traditional e-learning: "offer $150 courses for which students would get credit for a passing grade, just as if they had attended on campus. The credit-bearing classes are much smaller, and in the latest round of classes the enrolled students got more tutoring and help." Next thing you know they'll be saying Thrun has invented this new technology called the 'Learning Management System'. Must be nice to have Stanford PR behind you, backing you up.

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