Thursday, November 1, 2012

Course-Management companies challenge MOOC providers

Two software companies that sell course-management systems, Blackboard and Instructure, have entered the race to provide free online courses for the masses.

Arizona State University, the State University of New York’s Buffalo State College, and the University of Illinois Springfield chose Blackboard after considering other MOOC providers.

Instructors may be drawn toward teaching MOOC’s on those platforms rather than Udacity or Coursera because they are already familiar with the companies’ course-management software.

Because the Springfield campus has used Blackboard for years, instructors will be able to teach MOOC’s more comfortably, said Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning and director of the Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service. “There are plenty of challenges with MOOC’s, aside from just the technical challenges,” he said. “The different languages, the different cultures, serving thousands of students at a time—this platform allows us to focus our energies on those things instead.”

The software choice was featured by the Chronicle of Higher Education on November 1, 2012.

Read the article online