Udacity's Sebastian Thrun, Godfather Of Free Online Education, Changes Course | Fast Company | Business + Innovation


The "M" in MOOCs was supposed to represent massive enrollment, but in many ways it represented some people's massive expectations. Most educators I know where suspicious of MOOCs from the start -- not because you can't learn something from them, but because they're not well-designed to replace the role of a classroom and in-person teacher. Sebastian Thrun, after running Udacity for a few years and seeing the data, has realized this. Less than 10% of students finish courses, and many of those who finish are already well-educated. Thurn is responding by narrowing Udacity's focus on workforce training, and hopes to find an audience more in need of just-in-time education for employment and a more realistic set of goals for what MOOCs can and can't do well. For a good perspective on this story, I recommend reading Audrey Watters's post at http://www.hackeducation.com/2013/11/14/thrun-as-saint/.