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Behind the Scenes of a MOOC

A look at the technology and collaboration needed to create the new breed of open, online classes in higher education.

May 12 , 2013

MOOCS, or massive open online courses, have been making headlines in higher education over the last year, with many colleges and universities jumping into the game. That includes San Jose State University, which recently partnered with Silicon Valley-based online education startup, Udacity to offer college classes for credit, at an affordable $150 per course. We take a look at the technology used in this partnership, and show how the startup and San Jose State say they are changing the face of higher education.



My name is Sean Laraway. I'm an associate professor at San Jose State University.

I've been working very closely with Udacity.

Today we're brainstorming ideas to outline the next lesson. This is for our elementary statistics course STAT 95.

My name is Katie Kormanik. I'm on the content team at Udacity. I sit in this room for hours and record the lessons.

We've been developing a lot of the content and Udacity takes our content and puts it into an online format. They do most of the recording and all the technical sides, which is great.

As far as I know we are one of the first MOOC type courses to offer course credit.

We are really excited to be taking advantage of the technology we have today to broaden access to educational opportunities for students around the world.

Because it's all cloud-based so all you need is to open up your web browser and start.

Hours of preparation go into this.

We have Google docs, we have a lot of Google docs, and spreadsheets and then will collaborate on those, make comments, and then we all work together to figure out how best to teach it.

Shawn's the director, Katie is a very important actor in that course, and there's a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes that makes it work.

We have a very talented engineering team that has built a platform and we are running on Google app engine.

We do identity management where you as a student look into the camera with a government issued ID and said yes this is me, I'm the one registered for the class.

Access to bandwidth has been a critical piece of this, and we see it around the world at a level we just wouldn't have seen even when we launched our first class.

The response from our students has been overwhelmingly positive.

As a partnership, the work we're doing together there's a lot of promise here for addressing a lot of the issues that our higher education system is working through today.


Related Tags: Mobility , Innovation , Education

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