Many other universities followed suit.
Comments In November, Wolfram Burgard, a professor of computer science at the University of Freiburg, in Germany, administered an online midterm exam for a course in artificial intelligence to 54 students.
The test-takers sat in the lecture hall, spaced at least a meter apart, with proctors roaming the aisles to make sure nobody was looking up clues or chatting online with co-conspirators. The students were from all over.
Some were enrolled at Freiburg, some at the Technical University of Munich, some at the University of Hamburg, and several from outside Germany. Most were hoping to get credit for the course at their home universities, which meant they would have to return to Freiburg in mid-December to take a proctored final exam; no small chore for a pair visiting from Paris, and the one who had flown in from Finland, a distance of 1, miles.
Still, those incurring travel costs could take solace: First, they did not have to trek nearly 6, miles to where the course was actually being given, at Stanford University.
The difference with the Stanford experiment is that students are not only able to view the course materials and tune into recorded lectures for CS Including the 54 European students in the University of Freiburg lecture hall, 23, far-flung guests took the midterm exam, with many scoring on par with the paying students who took the same test in Palo Alto.
Those who also complete the final exam this month will get a letter signed by Thrun, along with their cumulative grade and class rank.
But there are no human lectures or office hours built into the OLI courses. Students taking those courses independently do not get tokens of achievement for completing coursework.
The Carnegie Mellon project focuses on foundational courses and is largely oriented to community college curriculums. Others have been broadcasting their courses to the Web-enabled masses for years. These include David Wiley, a prominent open education advocate and associate professor of psychology and technology at Brigham Young University.
Inas a professor at Utah State University, Wiley opened up a class of 15 to non-enrolled students via the Web, and soon began welcoming contributions from five additional students who were not enrolled at Utah State.
Much like Norvig and Thrun, Wiley assessed the work submitted by his online auditors and awarded them unofficial "diplomas" at the conclusion of the course. MOOCs question the value of teaching as an economic value point. Stanford has been careful to make sure its name is left off the tokens of recognition that Norvig and Thrun plan to send to participants who successfully complete the A.
Nevertheless, the gesture challenges the idea that meaningful certificates need to bear the seal of a university to have currency with employers.
Whose certification matters, for what purposes? There remains unique value in the on-campus experience relative to the marginal opportunities for intimate engagement for the thousands of outsiders peering through the holes Norvig and Thrun have punched in the perimeter of the walled garden.
For one, the professors can only evaluate non-enrolled students via assessments that can be graded automatically. Currently, this means multiple-choice quizzes and exams.The Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) brings engineering, science, technology, and medicine to .
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