All Posts Tagged With: "Free Courses"
But “MOOCs” come with no official credits
The University of Toronto will be offering some of its courses free online this year. This may signal diminishing resistance of Canadian universities to the growing movement in the US for free online university education.
U of T will offer five free classes in the coming year in partnership with US company Coursera, a company based in California. It will be the only Canadian university working with the company, which has attracted 700,000 students. Such courses are called massive open online courses (MOOCs).
The Star quotes Cheryl Misak, U of T’s provost, as saying “It’s a great service to the world and it’s great for the University of Toronto. This is the most open of all courses—anyone sitting in any country around the world with access to a computer can take the course.” The courses are not for official credit.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology pioneered the free delivery of university courses through MITx. Canadian universities have not yet shown the same level of enthusiasm.
Nearly 300,000 have signed up so far
On Monday nearly 300,000 people received an e-mail containing their first free lesson in computer coding from New York based Codeacademy.
The course is part of their “Code Year” initiative where anybody and everybody is encouraged to make their New Year’s resolution to learn computer programming in 2012. By the end of it, students will be able to build their own apps.
Coding is a valuable skill in today’s economy. The federal government reports that Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers are in high demand in some Canadian cities, such as Montreal, where their average wage is $34.50 per hour, and Winnipeg where their average wage is $25.47.
Professors want to help students in developing world
How much demand is there for free online education? When the topic is Artificial Intelligence and the teachers are star Stanford University professors, the answer is 58,000 people from 175 different countries, reports The New York Times. That’s how many have expressed interest in an experimental course that will offer no credits, but will instead consist of virtual lectures, assignments, a ranking in comparison to other students and a “statement of accomplishment.”
The instructors are Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig. Thrun is well-known for his robotic cars. Norvig is Google’s director of research. News of the course went viral after an e-mail was sent out to members of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence earlier this summer.