Friday, March 29, 2013

Coursera takes off

Coursera has just announced that they hit three million students during March.  One year.  Three million students.  These students took over ten million courses.  Quick - do the math.  That's over three courses per student on average.  That would make me not so unusual for registering for ten:  I've completed three, am in the midst of five (two very half-heartedly), have abandoned one, and one more has just started.

I'd be very interested to see a breakdown of the geographic distribution of the students.  Certainly, I found the distribution in World History Since 1300 to be very broad and the students very diverse.

edX, the Harvard-MIT platform has far fewer courses, and far fewer students (in the thousands, not the millions as far as I can see).  Is there a critical mass factor in course selection?  Will more people 'shop' for courses, where there are more courses?  The bigger you are, the bigger you'll get?

As a frequent-flyer member of Coursera, so to speak, I'm certainly more likely to browse the courses there.  However, I did register for an edX course recently: Michael Sandel's famous Harvard course on Justice.

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