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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Academics & Research

Ahead of Higher Ed: MOOC company to partner with Google


Many successful business plans eventually include collaboration with a bigger, well-known company. Massive open online course companies aren’t any different.

EdX, the MOOC provider for the University of Texas, announced they will be partnering with Google to provide an open-sourced website, MOOC.org, operated by open edX and launching early next year, according to Inside Higher Ed. This would be the first open-sourced MOOC ever.

The courses will be open to anyone to create or use. EdX President Anant Agarwal said to Inside Higher Ed that this will allow the company to experiment with new courses.

Coursera, with which UH has a partnership to develop MOOCs, announced that it has no interest in providing open-sourced content at this time, said co-founder Daphne Koller in a statement to Inside Higher Ed.

“Rather than building Coursera as open-source, which could lead to fragmentation of the development effort, we are committed to building and maintaining a single, robust platform that supports a rich ecosystem of applications via a set of well-defined APIs,” Koller said.

Counseling services busier than ever

University counseling centers typically see an increased number of patients over the semester. However, some centers across the nation are experiencing an influx of student patients earlier in the semester.

“It used to be where you’d ramp up during the course of the semester,” Josh E. Gunn, director of counseling and psychological services at Kennesaw State University, told Inside Higher Ed. “Now they’re coming in sooner. Our appointments seem to definitely be filling up earlier at the start of the semester than they used to, and I don’t know what’s causing that, honestly.”

No single issue has been identified as causing the recent popularity of counseling centers, but increased enrollment, flat budgets and staff lists have been evident factors. There are more students on campuses with the same number of available counselors. Plus, with the accessibility of social media, Inside Higher Ed reports that Facebook and Twitter pages allow more people to be aware of the services provided.

UH is experiencing the same enrollment increase, but Counseling and Psychological Services strives to provide counseling alternatives for students who can’t get an appointment.

The CAPS program Let’s Talk offers free counseling services weekly all across campus. For location and timing information, visit caps.uh.edu.

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