WWW-based online education turns 20 this summer

Phil Hill, Jun 25, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Though the World Wide Web publicly launched in 1991, it didn't really take off until the fall of 1993 and the invention of the graphical browser. This it became that 1994 marked the start of web-based courses, and hence, 2014 became the 20th anniversary of that event. My first website and first online course (on the logical fallacies) didn't appear until 1995 (gosh! I'm such a newbie) (in the years 1991-93 I was still working with educational MUDs; in the 1980s it was with Bulletin Board Services (BBSs). This post from Phil Hill is mainly a recreation of this paper by Marc Eisenstadt describing the first web-based course, on Cognitive Psychology, offered to 12 students at the Open University. (p.s. this post is also notable for its links to the old Internet Underground Music Archive and to Charles Severance's Internet History and Technology course).

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