Udacity to Launch 5 New Courses, from Statistics to Physics. Shooting for Largest Online Class Ever.

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

Related Content:

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

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  • 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



    The Class Sites are owned and operated by Udacity. Udacity reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify, discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Class Sites, or any part of portion thereof, with or without notice to you. You agree that Udacity shall not be liable to you or to any third party for any modifications, suspensions or discontinuance of the Class Sites, or any portion thereof. Nothing in these Terms of Use shall be construed to obligate Udacity to maintain and support the Class Sites, or any part of portion thereof, during the term of these Terms of Use.

    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.

    Except as otherwise expressly permitted in these Terms of Use, you may not copy, sell, display, reproduce, publish, modify, create derivative works from, transfer, distribute or otherwise commercially exploit in any manner the Class Sites, Online Courses, or any Content. You may not reverse-engineer, decompile, disassemble or otherwise access the source code for any software that may be used to operate the Online Courses. From time to time, Udacity may include software, code, instructions, or other such information in the Content or materials for the Online Courses; any such information is provided on an “as-is” basis for instructional purposes only and is subject to the Disclaimer of Warranties and Limitation of Liabilities sections below and other terms herein. Any use of such information, commercial or non-commercial, outside of this instructional use is strictly prohibited. Udacity and/or its affiliates and licensors reserve all rights not expressly granted herein to the Class Sites, Online Courses, Content, and Marks.

    Subject to your compliance with these Terms of Use, Udacity grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable limited right and license to access, internally use and display the Class Sites and Online Courses at your location solely as necessary to participate in the Online Courses. You must abide by all copyright notices or restrictions contained on the Class Sites or the Content. You may not delete any attributions, legal or proprietary notices on the Class Sites or the Content.

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