While the SJSU situation keeps on boiling, it’s worth pulling back the camera a bit and seeing the larger scene. This comes out of the history section of a run-of-the-mill press release Pearson released today:
California’s state university system, the nation’s largest four-year university system, partnered with Pearson in 2012 to launch Cal State Online, a fully online program designed to increase access to higher education. Cal State Online launched in January 2013 with a select number of undergraduate and professional master’s programs, now being offered by some of the institution’s 23 campuses.
I don’t really have any Death Star rhetoric here. Pearson is doing the business they have always been doing, they don’t pretend to be anything else. They are frankly more data-driven than Coursera, more transparent about impact, and staffed by people with a deeper knowledge of pedagogy and far more experience building courses. They are also, like Coursera, horribly closed.
The interesting thing to me here that the “Coursera takes over SJSU” announcement about a single course created the backlash of the month, whereas the partnership with Pearson to co-build full programs has slid by undetected.
Schools are going to have to build online resources with someone. It could be CourdacityX, it could be Pearson, or it could be with each other. The online resources are coming. It’s really just a matter of choosing how we want to build them.