October 2nd, 2013 E-Learning

course-builder-logoNot 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.

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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5 responses

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I just checked the Course Builder website before I found this article, and it looks like they did an update in Feb 2014. What is your impression of it now, and where Google is going with it?

Avatar Ben Levi

I would not say the people at Edx know what they are doing. Edx is horridly designed, bloated, and full of errors. The amount of CPU time and bandwidth their site and its components consume is not rational. They have no concept of bandwidth, and cannot even embed media properly — not even images. It should take me about a day to create a site as bad as Edx, but MIT and Harvard had years. Shame on Google if they go this route, but given the atrocity of the recent Google maps update, it is not surprising.

Avatar steve

good day, i am on the process of doing research on the google course builder so now i need to know if it is going to be possible for me to have a place where life drawing can take place within the assessment and with which software can i archive this. Thanks

Avatar Hlungwane

It’s December 2018 and I’m building an eLearning site using Course Builder v. 1.11.

Apparently, your reports of Course Builder’s demise were considerably premature… https://edu.google.com/openonline/course-builder/index.html

Apparently they changed their mind – which is good for you 🙂

Also, they weren’t “my reports”. It was straight from Google (see the press release).

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