WHAT'S IN A MOOC: We're still having a bit of trouble figuring out the difference between a MOOC and a webinar but admit to being completely swept up in the MOOC-iness of the season. We promise to put it on ice for a week or two, but not before referring to the diverse demographics of 6,000 students who made it near or to the end of the Circuits and Electronics course offered by Harvard and MIT's edX.
InsideHigherEd does a great job of breaking down the percentages so we thought it would be interesting to extrapolate those findings to a bricks-and-mortar class--effectively squashing a MOOC into a classic, 35-student class. For starters, 10 to 11 students would lack four-year college degrees while two students would boast PhDs. More than half of the students would be at least 26 years old. But a couple would lack an important intellectual prerequisite (Calculus). We might also add that the youngest student would be 14 years old and the oldest, 74--but that's the kind of stats snafu that the AngryMath blogger wouldn't take kindly. Bottomline: it would be a far more diverse class than any we remember from our college days.
And since we're on the subject, Google has joined the MOOC movement with it's open-source CourseBuilder. Per our promise, we'll reveal additional details after the September 19th Hangout on Air.