Next week classes kick off on, a hosting site for massively open online courses (MOOC) from universities including Ball State, Brown, Central Florida, and Utah. Unlike Coursera and Udacity, content partners can make decisions about the course instruction, assessment, instructional materials, and cost.

Most interesting from a K-12 perspective is Exploring Engineering, a two-week high school course starting April 1, 2013 and taught by Karen Haberstroh, Director of STEM Outreach at Brown University. The course will provide an overview of various fields of engineering and give students an opportunity to learn about engineering contributions to society. Sorry, the class is already full. But perhaps it will be the first of many and a model for other pre-collegiate MOOCs.

The courses will hosted by Instructure, a Salt Lake City company, on Canvas, a learning management system (LMS) currently used by 300 schools and universities.

Instructure got off to a big start two years ago by winning a Utah Education Network bid to work with 17 institutions that made up that consortium.

Compared to other LMS, Canvas is “a paradigm shift” because it is “open-sourced, cloud-based, and features new technology and an updated experience,” said CEO Josh Coates.

Canvas released an Android app last week and has supported Apple iOS for a year.


  1. […] They are essentially developing and delivering their own MOOC, rather than going out to Coursera or some other company to provide the delivery.  In this case, they are using Google Course Builder, which admittedly does have a steep learning curve, but this will be an excellent test for that approach and that platform for other universities that may want to offer a MOOC without having to sidle up to Coursera, Udacity or others.  Another interesting open MOOC framework to watch is the Instructure Canvas platform. […]


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