Udacity: creating a more engaging MOOC

David Evans has been the first instructor for hundreds of thousands of students pursuing their education at Udacity, the massive open online course (MOOC) platform whose unique style he helped define, InformationWeek reports. His Introduction to Computer Science course was one of the first two developed specifically for Udacity, along with an AI for robotics class taught by CEO Sebastian Thrun, drawing on examples from his work on Google’s self-driving car. A faculty member at the University of Virginia, Evans returned to teaching there in January following a year-long sabbatical to work with the Udacity team. He said the university supported him in his enthusiasm for the project, but it does not have a relationship with Udacity the way it does with Coursera. Those who complete Evans’ introductory programming course may not be quite ready for robotics engineering, but they will have built their own simple search engine in the Python programming language, which they learned along the way.

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