Constant innovation helped make one of the first massive open online courses, or MOOCs, at Vanderbilt more like a “real class” and benefited faculty and students by improving on-campus teaching, according to Douglas Schmidt, professor of computer science and of computer engineering at Vanderbilt.

Since MOOCs are likely to become a key avenue of education for future software professionals in academia and industry, tracking these first forays into the platform can provide important information for future course development, said Schmidt.

Schmidt, who taught one of Vanderbilt’s initial MOOC offerings — a free, open course on Coursera called Pattern-Oriented Software Architectures for Concurrent...

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