© Virtual Professor, UC Berkeley, 2012

Public Affairs (2012) UC Berkeley joins Harvard and MIT not-for-profit online learning collaborative Berkeley CA: UC Berkeley

Another big name joins the MOOC movement. However, UC Berkeley’s commitment at the moment looks somewhat modest, with a planned offering of seven online courses, two of which, both in computer science, are ready to go as existing for-credit online courses.

So far, all the edX MOOCs are in the sciences. It will be interesting to see how they plan to deliver courses in non-science areas, where automated marking and multiple choice tests are less appropriate. Indeed, I wonder at the excellence of science courses even from elite institutions if they rely on this form of assessment for their credit courses, as seems to be indicated in this press release.

Lastly, this is not even new for UC Berkeley. For some years now, it has been offering free online courses through a program called Virtual Professors. From their web site:

University of California, Berkeley offers free lectures on a huge number of subjects. The Free Berkeley Open Courses consist of complete, free online college courses, free online college classes, free audio lectures and other forms of free open courses.

Pity they didn’t think to call them MOOCs.


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