Monday, August 29, 2011

Free Online Stanford Courses for Other Colleges' Students? Is a Course a pizza?

Which courses are/aren’t pizza-like? Which can easily be ordered, delivered, and consumed? And which courses cannot?
" Having Stanford courses freely available could both assist and compete with other colleges and universities. A small college might not have the faculty members to offer a particular course, but could supplement its offerings with the Stanford lectures."
Would all small college students like access to Stanford's courses? To Stanford's faculty?  Would all small college administrators and faculty like to provide this kind of access?
Stanford's generosity might work well, but only for pizza-like courses - courses that can easily be ordered, delivered, and consumed.

"A free online course at Stanford University on artificial intelligence ... has attracted more than 58,000 students around the globe — a class nearly four times the size of Stanford’s entire student body.  ...
"The instructors are Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig, two of the world’s best-known artificial intelligence experts.
...The course "...will employ both streaming Internet video and interactive technologies for quizzes and grading,
"In place of office hours, they will use the Google moderator service, software that will allow students to vote on the best questions for the professors to respond to in an online chat and possibly video format. They are considering ways to personalize the exams to minimize cheating.
"The online students will not get Stanford grades or credit, but they will be ranked in comparison to the work of other online students and will receive a 'statement of accomplishment.'
But  recordings, interactive quizzes and automated grading feedback are NOT equivalent alternatives for most Stanford courses. 

More on this and MIT's OpenCourseWare tomorrow....

Below find more excerpts from article:  "Virtual and Artificial, but 58,000 Want Course" By JOHN MARKOFF 
Published: August 15, 2011;
A version of this article appeared in print on August 16, 2011, on page A11 of the New York edition with the headline: "Free Course in Artificial Intelligence Is Offered Online, and 58,000 Sign Up."
Also See also TLT-SWG Blog Postings:
 How can students who participate in a course online not feel disenfranchised?
A Course is Not a Pizza

"..[Thrun and Norvig] said they had been inspired by the recent work of Salman Khan, an M.I.T.-educated electrical engineer who in 2006 established a nonprofit organization to provide video tutorials to students around the world on a variety of subjects via YouTube.
"'The vision is: change the world by bringing education to places that can’t be reached today,' said Dr. Thrun.
"The rapid increase in the availability of high-bandwidth Internet service, coupled with a wide array of interactive software, has touched off a new wave of experimentation in education.
"Hal Abelson, a computer scientist at M.I.T. ... said 'The idea that you could put up open content at all was risky 10 years ago, and we decided to be very conservative,...Now the question is how do you move into something that is more interactive and collaborative, and we will see lots and lots of models over the next four or five years.”

Photo of young man in superhero costume delivering several pizza cartons "... special type of pizza delivery practised by a restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA."  12 July 2007, By Axelv
By Axelv (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

1 comment:

  1. LOL. Way too funny! When I visited I didn't think that free classes online being offered are like pizza.. err?


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