Teaching no longer takes place ’just’ in classrooms. Last year, blackboards have been replaced by videos and laboratories have become virtual. The creation of the renowned MOOC platform Cousera changed the way people think about education. MOOC platforms like Coursera edX and Udacity enabled people from around the globe independent of their background, age and geographic location to study world-class courses via internet.
The year of the MOOC
2012 was the year that MOOCS finally found their massive audience. In November, every week some 70.000 students signed up for the 200 Coursera courses a number that is steadily rising ever since. The number of universities that offer ‘blended learning’ or MOOCS has seen a steep increase as well. Not only the creation of Coursera made Ng and Koller deserve a place on the Time 100 list. MOOCs encouraged breakthroughs from the people that followed them as well.
Andrew Ng’s MOOC on ‘Machine learning’ led to some unexpected education innovation and showed what the revolutionary results of online learning could be. The 22 year old Ecuadorian student Luis Tandalla created an algorithm that improves the computerized grading of short essays. With this invention he has tackled one of the major problems with online education: the grading of huge numbers of students. Tandalla was able to make this discovery because he followed Ng’s MOOC.
Postcard from Sri Lanka
Bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel explains on the website of the Time top 100 why the Coursera founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller belong on this list. The brother of Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emmanuel taught a Cousera MOOC himself and realized how revolutionary MOOCs were when he received compliments from different continents.
“After I taught my first class through Coursera, I got this beautiful postcard from Sri Lanka in the mail, thanking me. I just thought that was crazy and amazing. There’s no chance I would have reached that student just by what I was doing before.”
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