Stanford teams with edX: Shaking out open learning options
The announcement that Stanford teamed with edX is interesting, but may be less significant than the interpretation that Stanford is nixing Coursera and Udacity. Rather, Stanford faculty will have options between Coursera, iTunes U, and YouTube. The report suggests that Class2Go will “publicly merge” with edX, so there will be one fewer options for Stanford faculty. (Discussed further in the The Chronicle.) This is also the first I’ve heard about MIT faculty feeling that OpenCourseWare is not a useful path to pursue. The options for open learning are shaking out, with multiple options going forward, but some falling by the wayside.
Mitchell said Stanford faculty members will continue to post material on Apple’s iTunes U, on Google’s YouTube and on Coursera, and to also generally allow faculty to pick among different platforms.“We will work on a case-by-case basis with individual faculty,” Mitchell said.
And, even though it is nonprofit, edX will also eventually need to make money. MIT and Harvard both chipped in $30 million apiece to get edX off the ground.While other open education resources, like MIT’s OpenCourseWare, are perpetually profitless and donor-backed, there may be little appetite to do that again. For instance, MIT faculty and trustees are “convinced that they cannot go down the same path again,” according to a new book about MOOCs by William Bowen, the former president of Princeton University.