With MOOC, a lecture hall that fits 20,000

Georgetown’s first massive open online course, “Globalization’s Winners and Losers: Challenges for Developed and Developing Countries,” launched on the edX platform last Tuesday to an audience of nearly 20,000 students from 155 countries, The Hoya reports.

“The fact that so many thousands of students all over the world are taking a course from a Georgetown professor is amazing to me. It extends our reach and our presence in all kinds of places. It allows us to help educate people in all kinds of different places,” School of Foreign Service Dean Carol Lancaster said. “It really is a manifestation of global Georgetown and all the good things that Georgetown can offer.”

The free class is taught by Theodore Moran, SFS professor and director of the Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy, with help from a faculty support team including course manager Rosaelena O’Neil, four teaching assistants and various guest lecturers.

“The launch felt like NASA waiting for the Mars rover to land, all the TAs and I were sitting in the office and waiting for the clock to tick until 9 o’clock,” O’Neil said. “The moment that was really striking for me was to see that at about minute eight or 10 after the course had opened, the discussion boards were already humming across the world. Within the first couple of hours, people were forming study groups, asking questions.”

Overall, the MOOC launch was smooth, despite some minor technical malfunctions. For example, some multiple choice questions presented a glitch in grading, which was quickly corrected.

Read more