By Roger Riddell
One of the biggest stories in higher ed and online learning over the last few years has been the rapid rise, and subsequent trip along the hype cycle, of massive open online courses. Despite their potential, MOOCs have faced questions ranging from their impact on higher ed’s existing business model and their own sustainability to their ability to generate meaningful credentials taken seriously by employers.
Coursera‘s director of business and market development, Julia Stiglitz, was on hand at this week’s SXSWedu in Austin, TX, to participate in a panel conversation about the company’s global scale—66% of its users were international early on, and that number is now around 73%, largely in India and China. “One of the really exciting things that we’re seeing is just how global in every respect—in terms of looking at our partners, in terms of looking at our students—this movement is,” said Stiglitz. “We are spending a lot of effort trying to grow that even more.”
Along with that global audience, the MOOC provider is focusing on offering solid credentials to the lifelong learners who tend to take its courses here in the U.S. Its “Specialization” course tracks feature a variety of industry partners offering capstone projects, and one success story involves a student who landed a job with Google using the data science skills he learned through Coursera. The company is also now offering its courses on-demand to better fit around jobs, families, and other commitments in users’ schedules.
[ Full article available at Education Dive: http://www.educationdive.com/news/courseras-stiglitz-mooc-revolution-is-just-beginning-sxswedu-2015/374642/ ]