- Andrew Bacevich: War for the Greater Middle East (INTL301x) The military historian and retired US Army Colonel dissects the failed US military effort to “fix” the Islamic world, explaining what went wrong and why.
- Andrew West: Alien Worlds (ASTR105x) One of the most popular courses on campus, West explores the discovery and characterization of the thousands of known planets outside of our solar system.
- Andy Andres: Sabermetrics 101: Introduction to Baseball Analytics (SABR101x)Forget the conventional wisdom of the baseball fan; Andres illuminates the game through sabermetrics, baseball analytics, data science, the R Language, and SQL.
- Robert Pinsky: The Art of Poetry (ARPO222x) From historical verse to contemporary works, the former US Poet Laureate leads students through the depths and magic of poetry and its art, craft, and sound.
What is a MOOC anyway?
We’re glad you asked. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and it’s at the heart of the edX mission. MOOCs enable people around the world to take a university class for free. Led by some of the most distinguished faculty on campus, participating professors develop specific courses that can be filmed and illustrated graphically and then shared through the edX platform. As an edX member, BU is committed to the development of at least five MOOCs. We’re aiming to launch our inaugural courses between late spring and fall 2014.
According to edX, 700,000 students across the globe currently use its platform. That diversity of a MOOC’s potential audience is a real opportunity for educators. By studying data collected from students of different ages and demographics, we can see not only what they learn online, but how they learn online.
Putting it all together
Creating a MOOC is no small task and can be compared with producing a movie, because both require a strong vision and a knowledgeable team. A typical MOOC team will include a faculty member, a teaching assistant, a videographer, a graphic designer, an instructional designer, and a programmer.
A MOOC is born in three stages. First, the team develops course materials, storyline, and flow. Second, they record lectures and other video sessions, while graphics, simulations, and problem sets are created and all course materials are integrated into edX’s platform. Finally, the MOOC will be tested, both by DLI and with a group of BU students, before being publicly released.