This weekend, the Wall Street Journal published a gushing little profile on Sebastian Thrun. By now, you probably know his bio. Thrun helped invent the self-driving car at Google and taught artificial intelligence at Stanford, before ditching his tenured teaching position and launching Udacity, a new venture that offers MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) to students everywhere.
Also this weekend, Thrun kicked off an effort to “break the student record for the largest online class ever taught” with his new class, Introduction to Statistics: Making Decisions Based on Data. It starts June 25, and above you can watch Thrun give a short (Hans Rosling-like) introduction to the class. The course is entirely free and open to students everywhere. Students will receive dynamic feedback along the way, and diligent students will get a certificate of completion at the end. So what’s stopping you? Certainly not money or geography. You can enroll right here.
Other courses starting on June 25 include:
Intro to Physics: Landmarks in Physics
Algorithms: Crunching Social Networks
Logic & Discrete Mathematics: Foundations of Computing
Software Testing: How to Make Software Fail
Coursera Adds Humanities Courses, Raises $16 Million, Strikes Deal with 3 Universities
Harvard and MIT Create EDX to Offer Free Online Courses Worldwide
Why the University System, as We Know It, Won’t Last …. and What’s Coming Next
Free Online Certificate Courses from Great Universities: A Complete List
The article states “The course is entirely free and open to students everywhere.”
While the course is free (and that’s great for affordable education!), it is not open. It is not OER.
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use AND re-purposing by others.
For content to be “Open” the user needs to be able to both (a) access the resource for no-cost / free and (b) have the legal permissions to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the content.
See Udacity’s terms of service here: http://www.udacity.com/legal
Udacity’s INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS.
All content or other material available on the Class Sites or through the Online Courses, including but not limited to programs, code, images, text, layouts, arrangements, displays, illustrations, documents, audio and video clips, HTML, and files (collectively, the “Content”), are the property of Udacity and/or its affiliates or licensors and are protected by copyright, patent and/or other proprietary intellectual property rights under United States and foreign law.
Udacity logos, trademarks and service marks which may appear on the Class Sites (“Marks”), are the property of Udacity and are protected under United States and foreign laws. All other trademarks, service marks and logos used on the Class Sites, with or without attribution, are the trademarks, service marks or logos of their respective owners. In addition, elements of the Class Sites are protected by trade dress and other federal and state intellectual property laws and may not be copied, reproduced, downloaded or distributed in any way in whole or in part without the express written consent of Udacity.