The University of Wisconsin-Madison partners with large MOOC provider

The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers for the first time four pilot MOOCs.The UW’s initiative is the result of a partnership agreed upon with MOOC provider Coursera. The latter is one of the leading MOOC providers, offering to thousands of people free access to top university courses.

The UW seeks to complement and strengthen the education opportunities offered to campus-based and distant-learning students. Starting October 2013, four MOOCs will be up for grabs. Current estimations reveal that about 80,000 people have already signed up for one of the four MOOCs available.

Markets with Frictions is a course taught by Randall Wright. It teaches students the tools and reasoning for analyzing economic issues. It’s a six-week course starting October 30. Video Games and Learning comes from the Games+Learning+Society center of UW. One of the most popular courses on offer, this is a sociologically-grounded course scrutinizing the interconnections of education and the gaming culture as well as its ramifications for society and learning. Globalizing Higher Education and Research for the Knowledge Economy is a course that reveals the underpinnings and potential of the new globalized education model.

UW announced that these courses are not MOOC-for-credit ones, students won’t be able to earn or transfer credit from these. These courses on the globalized education, the proliferation of gaming culture and the ever-unstable markets, offer intellectual stimuli on issues society is struggling to harness and resolve.

80,000 people signed up for one of the four MOOCs available. Do you think that indicates long-term viability or that people are excited to try a new online learning option? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!