Welcome iversity

Just a short piece today (after such long ones the last couple of days), this one welcoming yet another new player into the MOOC game: Germany’s iversity.

European MOOC activity has generated a fair amount of news lately with FutureLearn and now iversity starting to provide alternatives for European universities looking to work with MOOC organizations who have a strong understanding of local languages and cultural needs (not to mention the intricacies of national and EU education rules and regs).

Like FutureLearn, vis opening up its doors with a short initial list of course offerings (half in English, half in German).  And as nice as it is to have more English-language courses available for learners like myself, I expect iversity will find it niche by cultivating the partnerships needed to deploy a critical mass of material for native language speakers across Continental Europe.

iversity primed its pump with a MOOC Production Fellowship contest that awarded 25,000 Euros (about thirty-three grand) to ten professors interested in producing MOOCs for their platform.   And their attempts to leverage EU accreditation schemes as well as Internet-based outreach tools (such as this Ambassadors program) indicate a readiness to experiment and innovate that has become one of the best things to come out of the MOOC movement.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to fit an iversity class into my One Year BA schedule, but if time allows I hope to enroll in at least one class from each of the European providers in order to evaluate their platform and content.  And you might just hear a German and/or English accent on the Degree of Freedom podcast before the end of the year if schedules allow me to interview the leaders of one or more of these new European initiatives.

And speaking of the UK, Germany and podcasting, tune in to tomorrow’s show when I’ll be interviewing the American philosopher Peter Adamson, formerly of Kings College in London, now a professor at LMU in Munich, but probably known to many of you as the man behind the History of Philosophy (Without Any Gaps) podcast.

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