When campus president Wallace Loh walked into Juan Uriagereka's office last August, he got right to the point. "We need courses for this thing — yesterday!"
Uriagereka, associate provost for faculty affairs at the University of Maryland in College Park, knew ___1____ what his boss meant. Campus administrators around the world had been buzzing for months about massive open online courses, or MOOCs: Internet-based teaching programs ___2____ to handle thousands of students ___3____, in part using the tactics of social-networking websites. To ___4____ video lectures, much of the learning comes from online comments, questions and ___5____. Participants even mark one another's tests.
MOOCs had exploded into the ___6____ consciousness in summer 2011, when a free artificial-intelligence course offered by Stanford University in California attracted 160,000 students from around the world — 23,000 of whom finished it. Now, Coursera in Mountain View, California — one of the three researcher-led start-up companies actively developing MOOCs — was inviting the University of Maryland to ___7____ up to five courses for broadcast on its software platform. Loh wanted in. "He was very clear," says Uriagereka. "We needed to be a part of this."
Similar conversations have been taking place at ___8____ universities around the world, as dozens — 74, at the last count — rush to sign up. Science, engineering and technology courses have been in the vanguard (前沿) of the movement, but offerings in management, ___9____ and the arts are growing in popularity (see 'MOOCs rising'). "In 25 years of ___10____ higher education, I've never seen anything move this fast," says Mitchell Stevens, a sociologist at Stanford and one of the leaders of an ongoing, campus-wide discussion series known as Education's Digital Future.