There is a lot of activity around the Online Learning, MOOC, Hybrid Learning space in India. A number of leading universities have started their own MOOC’s (IITBX, IIMB) and are offering open access to their content to students.
A High-Stakes Feedback Loop
There are twin, parallel forces slowly severing learning from American education.
If it seems contradictory that “learning” could somehow be separate from “education” (one is the purpose of the other), consider that standards for credentialing overwhelmingly rely on time spent in an educational environment (school attendance) and discrete performance indicators (standardized tests). Possibly no one explains the fundamental gap in our priorities more eloquently than Sir Ken Robinson in his TED Talk.
Despite their best efforts, neither of these measures of education guarantees learning; more alarmingly, neither is immune to the interference of grade inflation and school athletics. Continue reading
Former MOOC turned tech education platform Udacity raised a $105 million Series D, valuing the company at $1 billion. German media, services and education company Bertelsmann increased its stake significantly, making it one of the largest shareholders in Udacity.
Udacity partners with tech firms like Google, Facebook and Amazon to develop so called Nanodegrees that train employees specific tech skills needed for different jobs in the technology sector.
Schoology, a LMS for K-12 and higher education, has raised a $32 million Series D led by JMI Equity with participation from existing investors FirstMark Capital, Intel Capital, and Great Road Holdings. The company has raised a total of $57 million.
Founded in 2009, Schoology is used in more than 130 countries, reaching over 12 million users. In the past year Schoology added over 400 enterprise customers, surpassing 1000 institutions in K-12 and higher education.
Bertelsmann continues to expand its education portfolio. The media, services and education company announced that it will invest $230 million in higher education solutions provider HotChalk. Through the investment Bertelsmann will become the largest stockholder of the company.
In September Bertelsmann combined its education activities into a separate business unit, Bertelsmann Education Group.
HotChalk provides universities with the tools to bring their degree programs online. Founded in 2004, HotChalk raised a $5 million venture round in 2008.