A vision of the future?

A free and open course from Stanford University, run by a commercial company, 160,000 students from around the world and a prediction that there will eventually only be 10 universities in the world. Video presentations, students creating course support, students taking the course online and not going to lectures even when they are offered. Pie in the sky, a vision of the future or something in between? Are we ready for the challenge?

More from Wired magazine http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/03/ff_aiclass/all/1


  1. My Dad is doing this course and he really likes it. He says it is interesting and sufficiently challenging…

    Does the – “there will only be 10 universities in the world” prediction come from the same source as “there will only be 5 computers in the world?”

    I can see there being an increasing market for this especially for less practical courses.

    However, I can see a number of reasons why universities will not disappear
    1. even with improvements in online simulation and validation I do not see the need for face to face contact disappearing especially for practical courses
    2. University is about more than just the learning experience – students (including, perhaps especially, international ones attend for a variety of reasons.
    3. The cachet of physically attending a good university will remain
    4. It will be difficult for validation of professional courses – not impossible but I think perhaps sufficiently offputting

    However, I think perhaps we ought to expect the days of the lecture to be numbered if not the university…

    • I think your points are probably correct but I wonder if we could adopt some of the processes they use? I like the peer marking option.

      “Coursera has demonstrated that its peer grading can be about as accurate as your typical university teaching assistant. But unlike the T.A., it can grade 200,000 papers”

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