Daphne Koller is leaving Coursera to join
Alphabet Calico. EdTech is not the sort of field that keeps up with comings and goings a la the Hollywood Reporter, but this movement is significant in that Koller (along with Sebastian Thrun and Andrew Ng) were the public faces of The Year of the MOOC, MOOCmania and All Things MOOC after the stratospheric success of Stanford’s Fall 2011 courses. Thrun remains at Udacity but recently stepped down as CEO, while Ng left the day-to-day operations of Coursera in 2014. With Koller also leaving, MOOC’s original three have all now moved on from the immediate operations of their spawn.
Interestingly, the other MOOC professor at Stanford in 2011, who was not part of the media push or start-up aftermath, was Jennifer Widom. She has continued to teach MOOCs since 2011, and during her current sabbatical year is offering free courses in data and design…and those free courses are going to be in-person.
It’s been five years since the initial three Stanford MOOCs were announced, four years since The Year of the MOOC and the tsunami coming to education and the rotting tree, three years since SJSU hit the pause button on the MOOCs promised to save their school, two years since the failures of MOOCs were mansplained into the promise of MOOC 2.0, and one year since nobody took advantage of the ASU/edX Global Freshman Academy. It has been a lot of bluster but very little result. Continue reading