Coursera hires a former Yale president, a Florida university struggles to grant credit to MOOCs, and more in this week’s Shortcuts

shortcut-news-yaleWelcome to Friday Shortcuts, a round-up of the ed-tech news that didn’t make it onto the front page of eCampus News this week–but you should know about anyway.

Shortcut 1. Former Yale president heads to Coursera as CEO

In a move that will further differentiate itself from its main competitor, Udacity, massive open online course platform  Coursera has hired Richard Levin as its new CEO. Levin was the president of Yale University for two decades.

While Udacity has begun to move away from trying to replicate a liberal arts experience and toward vocational training, this hire could signify that Coursera is doubling down on efforts to rival traditional higher education.

Levin also serves on President Obama’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology.

Shortcut 2. Former Vistaprint exec heads to edX as COO

Meanwhile, the non-profit MOOC platform edX has also made a big hire, tapping Wendy Cebula to be its new president and COO. Cebula was an executive at Vistaprint for 13 years, a time period where the company grew from $1 million in revenue to $1 billion.

Current president Anant Agarwal will become edX’s CEO.

Shortcut 3. Florida International University searches for ways to make for-credit MOOCs

A university in Florida is struggling to find ways to grant credit for MOOCs, after the state began requiring the courses to be accredited. The faculty senate at Florida International University convened this week to discuss how to approach accreditation, though any proposals were tabled for another meeting to take place in April.

“If FIU doesn’t come up with a process to award course credit for learning done through MOOCs or in other ways, someone else will come up with it, and we’ll just be told to implement it,” FIUSM reported Laurie Shrage, a professor of philosophy, as saying at the meeting.


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