Coursera - now, that's disruption!

A couple of years ago, Katrina A. Meyer wrote about The Role of Disruptive Technology in the Future of Higher Education and said that "Disruption takes upsetting the status quo, focusing on student-centered learning, changing relationships, sharpening our insight, and designing instruction to increase learning and lower costs." Have a look at Coursera and see if you think these six criteria apply - I think they do.

I especially believe that this beautifully designed and well-supported MOOC might well signal the beginning of the end of nightmarishly large and evidentially inneffective lectures, as Universities really start to see the possibilities of using academics' time in much more fruitful one-to-one and small group settings. And I love that Coursera are deadly serious about peer asssessment - I absolutely agree (not everybody does) with Coursera's Daphne Koller that if students are provided with clear enough criteria, they are just as capable of applying those criteria to each others' work as their tutor.

Amongst other pertinent questions, Audrey Watters asks "How will a partnership with Coursera change universities’ other online course offerings?" - We'll have to wait and see, I suppose, but the question itself presupposes that change there will certainly be.

Anyway, I've signed up for three courses and can tell you I'm really looking forward to it - here's the course list, which is pretty impressive at the moment and which should grow over time:

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