Berlin based iversity.org has planted its footprint in the ever-expanding MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) universe. It starts with a fresh bouquet of free courses and a strong student base of 115,000. For the present moment, 24 courses are on the catalog with more expected soon. The open courses have been designed by the top professors from Europe and the US according to the press release.
iversity has started with free open courses at launch; the course catalog has a total of 24 for now (15 of which are in English, with the rest in German). The other courses will begin later this year and spill over to 2014. Three courses have seen the largest enrollments:
- The Future of Storytelling by the Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences) Potsdam.
- Design 101 (or Design Basics) by the Accademia di Belle Arti in Catania.
- Public Privacy: Cyber Security and Human Rights by the Humboldt Viadrina School of Governance in Berlin.
The press release highlighted that iversity’s MOOC curriculum will cover a wide range of topics from philosophy to physics, architecture to economics, and politics to engineering. On some of the courses, students will be awarded credit points in accordance with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).
Europe hasn’t seen much of competition in the MOOC world, with most of the action happening in the U.S. FutureLearn is another competitor which recently launched as well. iversity’s big launch could churn things up a bit in the MOOC space which needs to attain critical mass to become a viable alternative educational model. Even though free courses serve as magnets, it is the profits alone that will drive growth and every MOOC success depends on how many students sign up for quality paid courses.