http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/screen-shot-2013-03-10-at-17-12-16.png?w=230By Natasha Lomas. The fast expanding universe of MOOCs has a new addition. Berlin-based startup iversity, founded in 2011 to offer online collaboration tools for learning management, has relaunched itself as a platform for massive open online courses. Its first batch of MOOCs are due to go live around September/October, at the start of the winter study term, with a view to steadily expanding the number of courses offered on its platform and ramping up student numbers from the initially expected six-digits. Course content will be provided by universities and individual professors — assuming iversity can convince Europe’s educators that MOOCs are the future and that its platform is the place to rethink their approach to education delivery. iversity won’t be creating any courses itself, so it needs others to buy in. Its first task is therefore to educate continental Europe about the MOOCs phenomenon and the “revolution” taking place in the U.S., says CEO Marcus Riecke.
Continental Europe is arguably lagging the U.K. too. The U.K.-based Futurelearn MOOC consortium, formed last December, is now backed by 19 institutions and plans to launch its first courses in mid 2013. ”It’s early days [for MOOCs in continental Europe],” says Riecke, a former VP at eBay Europe who has also held senior roles at Yahoo and Monster. ”MOOCs are still oddly a bit of an insiders’ topic and the majority of folks both in the education sector and the Internet sector haven’t yet heard about it. Read more...