GT and Coursera’s MOOC stumble: Why they are still experiments
Since I do write about MOOCs a lot here, it would be disingenuous of me not to report on the Coursera MOOC that got pulled, especially since it was from Georgia Tech. I think this is an example that proves MOOCs are still experiments. This would be a much worse story if this was a required course, or one that students had paid tuition for.
The course got off to a bad start; one student reported that the first e-mail he got from the instructor “was not an introduction to the course per se, nor instructions for getting started, but rather an apology for the technical glitches that were, unbeknownst to me, already occurring.”
Ms. Wirth had tried to use Google Docs to help the course’s 40,000 enrolled students to organize themselves into groups. But that method soon became derailed when various authors began editing the documents. Things continued downhill from there; some students also had problems downloading certain course materials that had been added to the syllabus at the last minute. When the confusion continued, Georgia Tech decided to call a timeout.