Why 259,969 people taking the same class at the same time might just be the future of education

TED Blog


“I sometimes look back at the TED Talk and I try to think of where we were at the time. We had four university partners, about a half a million students, 37 courses. Now we have more than six million students, more than 550 courses and 107 institutions that are working for us. And ‘MOOC’ is now a buzzword in many, many households.”

Daphne Koller is reminiscing. The cofounder of Coursera, one of the biggest for-profit MOOC ventures, spoke at TEDGlobal in 2012. A mere year and a half later and her fledgling organization has turned into a higher education behemoth. The company raised some $85 million to fuel its online mission, and as of January 17, 2014, Coursera boasted more than 21.5 million enrolments. Its most popular class has 259,969 students, simultaneously studying Scott Plous’ Wesleyan University course in social psychology.

259,969! That’s a far cry from…

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