Some Innovative MOOCs

June 18, 2013

Posted by Maggie Johnson, Director of Education and University Relations

Last summer, we jumped into the world of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) with our own course on search skills, Power Searching. Soon after, we open sourced the platform that we developed to present the course -- Course Builder. A large number of courses have been hosted on Course Builder since, with many more coming soon. As can be seen from the list of courses, our goal is to provide the capability for anyone to create a MOOC. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the variety of courses and the creativity of the instructors building on Course Builder.

For example, GivingWithPurpose is an innovative MOOC presented by Learning By Giving, one of Doris Buffett’s foundations for “giving it all away.” Instructor Rebecca Riccio, who teaches philanthropy at both Northeastern and Brandeis Universities, feels that reaching thousands of people in a discussion about how to allocate scarce resources to address the needs of our communities has huge potential. “For all the social, cultural, and economic value we derive from the nonprofit sector, we do shockingly little to educate people about why it is so important and what we can do to help it thrive. So while I believe GivingWithPurpose will be successful in its primary goal of teaching students how to give more effectively, in ways that both satisfy their own motivations for giving and support high-performing nonprofit organizations, my second, perhaps more ambitious goal is to promote more informed civic engagement.”

We’ve also hosted MOOCs on evaluating and selecting soccer players, how to search for a job, and how to develop digital learning opportunities for students in public schools. We have many university courses such as Game Theory from Stanford and Information Visualization from Indiana University.

Course Builder’s support of both traditional and non-traditional education opportunities is core to its mission. We’ll continue to build features that help university professors, K12 teachers and anyone else who has something important to teach.