Former Yale president becomes Coursera CEO

Some big news in the MOOC space today. Of the MOOC projects, coursera has always been the best at execution and growth, but this is a big deal. This says to me, that they might just make it across the crest of the hype wave before the wave comes down.

It also makes edx looks somewhat second best. What would be needed to change that? One option would be for edx to make a full commitment to open (sharing all data, all code, really focusing on building community around data and code). It might already be a little late for that (and seem like a reaction) but it’s the kind of bold move that MIT made in 2002 with OCW (fathom was the for-profit alternative back then), upending expectations, changing the landscape.

Edx’s current strategy seems to be, let’s hope that universities will start getting nervous about joining coursera and choose us, because we look less threatening. It is not clear that will actually happen and it’s also a pretty defensive scenario that reminds me of Sakai (it’s hard to manage fast moving technology projects with a committee governance structure).