With Open Platform, Stanford Seeks To Reclaim MOOC Brand

Career College Central summary:

  • In the MOOC marketplace, Coursera's brand is by far the best known. Ask anyone about providers of massive open online courses, and Coursera's name comes up, along with that of Udacity, another local company with strong Stanford ties, long before the university's—even though Coursera is only two years old, and some of the courses it offers are taught by Stanford professors.
  • Now Stanford is looking to reclaim some leadership in the MOOC movement from the private companies down the street. For some of its offerings it has started using Open edX, the open-source platform developed by edX, an East Coast nonprofit provider of MOOCs. And Stanford is marshaling its resources and brainpower to improve its own online infrastructure.
  • In doing so, the university is putting its weight behind an open-source alternative that could help others develop MOOCs independently of proprietary companies.
  • Why? "There are people who are uncomfortable for a range of reasons," says Jane Manning, director of platforms for Stanford Online, the university's new online-learning arm. "They've seen what happened on the research side of the house with the academic publishers, where academic publishers ended up having a lot of pricing power."

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