I wrote [earlier](http://seanmehan.globat.com/blog/2012/03/08/interview-with-center-for-21st-century-universities/) about Norvig and Thrun’s experiement with massive online courses and how it would impact on the university model this century. I am now following another link in the experiment, [Udacity](http://www.udacity.com/).Udacity is a venture in which Norvig and Thrun seem to have shifted to an external vehicle away from Stanford, as well as [David Evans](http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~evans/) from [UVA](http://www.virginia.edu/). They have some courses running now, for low cost, and there is an impressive list of upcoming for this year, including:
* Theory of Computation
* Operating Systems
* Distributed Systems
* Algorithms and Data Structures
in addition to CS387 – Applied Crypto, and CS212 – Design of Computer Programs.
I know that much of the motivation for these comes from meeting the needs of the expanding educational requirements in the developing world, but this is exciting. It is using a flip model, lectures viewed independently (which is, after all, the same as reading a text in preparation), and then interacting on problem solutions. The [NYT](http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/science/16stanford.html) quoted [Hal Ableson](http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/hal/hal.html) with an interesting observation (you should also check out his [78s collection](http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/hal/misc/78s/) ), “The idea that you could put up open content at all was risky 10 years ago, and we decided to be very conservative,” he said. “Now the question is how do you move into something that is more interactive and collaborative, and we will see lots and lots of models over the next four or five years.”
Which will lead me to my next post on the *hype model*.