Monday, January 14, 2013

Speciation and finches: Comparing and contrasting salient aspects of visible, online, University, educational projects, with these criteria: 1. offered this many courses, 2. had this many learners participate, 3. and its web interface technology worked like this, 4. certification offered, 5. business model

In outlining ways in which WUaS differs from other growing and visible online educational projects ... see yesterday's blog entry here ...

How does World University and School differ from edX, MITx, Yale OYC, Coursera, iTunes University, Udacity, and all the other, great, free, online, course-oriented, university, educational projects on the web? ...

it's interesting to compare and contrast salient aspects of these projects.

Here are some criteria for comparison ...

1. - offered this many courses ...

2. - had this many learners participate ...

3. - and its web interface technology worked like this ...

4. - certification offered ...

5. - business model ...

As of December 2012 (autumn / whole year +) ...


- offered this many courses ... 2,142

- had this many learners participate ... millions
( and ...

undergraduate, graduate, high school

- and its web interface technology worked like this ... web pages, video and audio, study groups, non-U.S. and non-English languages

- certification offered ... none

- business model ... $3.5 million, annual budget, and planning for the next 10 years ...  (

edX (which builds on MITx)

- offered this many courses ... 7

- had this many learners participate ... "More than 150,000 students from over 160 countries registered for MITx's first course, 6.002x: Circuits and Electronics. The age range of students certified in this course was from 14 to 74 years-old." 
( ... 

undergraduate, graduate?

- and its web interface technology worked like this ... MOOC, web pages

- certification offered ... "... certificate of completion. Certificates will be issued by edX under the name of the underlying "X University" from where the course originated, i.e. HarvardX, MITx or BerkeleyX. For the courses in Fall 2012, those certificates will be free. There is a plan to charge a modest fee for certificates in the future."

- business model ... "The two institutions (MIT and Harvard) have each contributed $30 million of resources to the nonprofit project. edX launched in Fall 2012 and builds on MITx, a similar project launched by MIT in December 2011.[2] ... The design of a viable business model for sustainability of the enterprise is in progress.[5]" (


- offered this many courses ... 200 

- had this many learners participate ... 1.5 million students
( ...

undergraduate, graduate

- and its web interface technology worked like this ... MOOC, web pages with social networking possibilities, like group email, video, class assignment example from "Startup Boards: Advanced Entrepreneurship" - develop a board and team from the list of class members, and hold 4 real time board meetings, which one class did in Google + Hangouts .

- certification offered ... certificate of completion

- business model ... "While Coursera is a for-profit company, currently they are not generating revenue.[4] Coursera and participating schools each meet their own expenses, which are substantial on both sides[citation needed]. As of December 2012, Coursera finances its operations from venture capital. In April 2012, Coursera announced that they had received $16 million of Series A venture capital from L. John Doerr at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers and Scott Sandell of New Enterprise Associates [5] John Doerr has suggested that people will pay for "valuable, premium services".[6] Any revenue stream will be divided, with schools receiving a small percentage of revenue and 20% of gross profits.[7][8] Schedule 1 of the contract between Coursera and participating universities [9] contains a "brainstorming" list of possibilities, including:[8][9]
  • Certification: the student pays a fee to the school, which issues certification of completion or adequate performance in the course which Coursera makes accessible in a verifiable format
  • Secure assessment: Coursera, for a fee, provides testing and verification of identity at physical locations
  • Sale of information to potential employers: for a fee, and with student permission, access to a database containing information about students and courses they have taken is sold to enterprises
  • Assessment of competency: for a fee paid by a potential employer or educational institution Coursera would evaluate the competency of a student
  • Tutoring or evaluation of progress: for a fee an employee or contractor of Coursera provides personal attention, tutoring, or evaluation of a student's work
  • Licensing or sale of the learning platform and courses to employers or schools for continuing education or course work, for example, at a community college
  • Sponsorship: for a fee, firms or foundations would sponsor courses, only "non-intrusive" advisement of the sponsorship is contemplated
  • Tuition: after a free trial period, tuition would be charged for full access to a course and materials; another possibility is use of the platform and materials by on-campus, or on-line, students enrolled in the course at the sponsoring institution, who already are paying full tuition; in which case a small fee would be paid to Coursera by or on behalf of each student
As of July 2012, certification and sale of information to potential employers were being actively explored.[8]"

also, "build fast and worry about the money later" ...

iTunes U

- offered this many courses ...  tens of thousands ... “the world’s largest catalog of free educational content” 

- had this many learners participate ... ? The lectures and other content have been downloaded 700 million times, according to the company.

undergraduate, graduate, high school?

- and its web interface technology worked like this ... iTunes video and audio lecture streaming

- certification offered ... none

- business model ... free academic content in iTunes, with its other paid content ... )

Open Yale Courses (OYC)

- offered this many courses ... 42

- had this many learners participate ... ?,


- and its web interface technology worked like this ... websites, video / audio

- certification offered ... none

- business model ... Foundation monies - William and Flora Hewlett Foundation


- offered this many courses ... 15

- had this many learners participate ... 90,000? "Thrun has stated he hopes half a million students will enroll, after an enrollment of 160,000 students in the predecessor course at Stanford, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence,[6] and 90,000 students had enrolled in the initial two classes as of March 2012.[7][8]" ...

undergraduate, graduate?

- its web interface technology worked like this ... MOOC, websites

- certification offered ... certificate of completion "indicating their level of achievement, signed by the instructors, at no cost.[18][22] In addition, beginning 24 August 2012, through partnership with electronic testing company Pearson VUE, students of CS101 can elect to take an additional proctored 75-minute final exam for a fee of $89 in an effort to allow Udacity classes to "count towards a credential that is recognized by employers."[15][23][24]

- business model ...  "Udacity is funded by venture capital firm, Charles River Ventures, and $300,000 of Thrun's personal money.[2] In October 2012 the venture capital firm Andreessen 
Horowitz led the investment of another $15 million in Udacity.[10]"

Udacity just partnered with San Jose State University

World University and School

- offered this many courses ... 2,142 (MIT OCW) + 42 (Yale OYC) + 150- ish more from other great universities, cross-listings by subject

- had this many learners participate ... possibly around 100 in editing the wiki, either as teachers, learners or editors ... for free, online, Creative Commons' licensed, MIT-centric, university degrees, applying this autumn 2013, WUAS is seeking overachieving high school or college students such as might apply to Harvard or MIT, et. al., as well as Quaker high schoolers, in the beginning. ...

undergraduate, graduate, high school, all, in all languages and countries

- and its web interface technology worked like this ... Wiki, web site, MIT OCW, Yale OYC, where anyone in any language can add resources, teach, learn or edit, in addition to the degree courses, Google + Hangouts, virtual worlds ... with Conference Method

- certification offered ... WUaS is planning 5, Creative Commons' licensed, degrees/diplomas - bachelor, Ph.D., I.B., law and M.D., - and in many languages and countries. 

- business model ... governments, companies, foundations and philanthropies, ... MIT-centric, STEM education for every country around the world, in many languages, for free, C.C., online degrees, collaborating with MIT ... and Bookstore / Computer store (New and Used) ... ...


Coursera -

edX -  (MITx builds on edX)

iTunes U -


Open Yale Courses (OYC) - 

Udacity - 

World University and School -

( - January 14, 2013)

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