Not too long ago, I did a short review of the Google MOOC building platform, Course Builder. The verdict of that review essentially stating that Google has made an “okay” start, but the program could stand a bit of a face-lift.
Well, rather than a face-lift, it appears that the Google have decided to scrap the project altogether and head in another direction.
On September 10th of this year, Google announced that instead of creating their own, organic program for massive learning environments, they have decided to partner with folks who actually know what they are doing in this space – edX.
For those of you who may not be familiar with them, edX is a MOOC service created by Harvard and MIT, offering courses on a variety of subjects. They have a pretty solid offering, and a major player in the MOOC landscape. In addition to the courses offered by edX, the edX project has produced an open-source software that they use to deliver their courses.
It’s hard to say at this point the role Google will take in the continued development of edX. They should have a good list of “lessons learned” from the Course Builder experiment.
What Happens to Course Builder?
As you might expect, this is likely to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the organizations who put their trust into Course Builder for their online training program. Google has committed to maintaining their previous platform, but they will be “focusing our development efforts on Open edX, and look[ing] forward to seeing edX’s MOOC.org platform develop”.
In other words: if you chose Course Builder, don’t expect anything new.
This isn’t the first time Google has dropped an offering, so that shouldn’t be surprising – but at least this time they did it on the sooner side.
If you’re interested in reading more about the new partnership between Google and edX, you can read their official press release on their blog.