Google MOOC

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Teresa Franklin

Sep 17, 2012, 1:26:10 PM9/17/12
Hello All,

I thought this might be of interest to some of you.  It comes from a professional group I belong to:

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Google just announced a new research experiment to open source the code they used to run their recent MOOC, Power Searching with Google ( Course Builder ( contains software and instructions for presenting course material (, including student activities, basic assessments and instructions for using other Google products to create a course community ( and to evaluate the effectiveness of your course. To develop Course Builder users will be experienced course designers, and will have basic familiarity with HTML and JavaScript.  This could be an interesting way to explore the use of the cloud to provide learners with a self paced learning environment as well as real time feedback on understanding.  

For more information on this research project please check out the Google research blog ( 

Apostolos Koutropoulos

Sep 18, 2012, 11:31:32 AM9/18/12
Thanks for posting :)

CourseBuilder sounds quite interesting!  I wish that they had it available for domains :-) (sort of like Open Class)

David Lewis

Sep 18, 2012, 3:36:17 PM9/18/12
Thank you for posting this,

How does this differ from Moodle or Blackboard?

I am not an experienced course designer.  However, with the increasing use of community teachers in medicine, such a tool as this is urgently needed to aid joined up working.  Why?  In London, at least, the GP tutors for undergraduate courses are not permitted full access to Moodle because of red tape issues.

Google Course Builder looks ideal for the medical school to develop courses, nurture a community of teachers, and offer feedback.  As ever, the main barrier for this is time and money.  How can we deploy such education technology while simultaneously obliged to deliver our core service (patient care)?  Rhetorical question!

I only wish Google would put money into higher education to help enthusiasts like us have the time to learn how to use the new tools and integrate these into mainstream teaching.


Adele Botha

Sep 21, 2012, 9:43:47 AM9/21/12
Has anyone tried this.


Nick Kearney

Sep 21, 2012, 10:23:06 AM9/21/12
El 21/09/2012 15:43, Adele Botha escribió:
Has anyone tried this.
I haven't tried to use the software, but I did the course that they used to try it out. You had a video (or the option to read text, which was welcome, it is harder to skin through a video) and then a series of simple search activities, followed by a test. All units had the same structure. There was a forum but it did not form an integral part of the course. It was quite a basic approach to online learning.

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Ignatia/Inge de Waard

Sep 22, 2012, 2:59:18 AM9/22/12
Hi David, what we (institute of tropical medicine in belgium) do for our medical doctors (general practitioners) is set up a joint wiki on a specific topic (e.g. HIV/AIDS related information). this wiki is kept by a team of specialists, but any doctor with experience can become a writing member to it as well. All the general practitioners know where to find it and when they receive a patient with HIV/AIDS related questions, they simply go to the wiki and can immediately deliver up-to-date information.
This is not immediately a course, but they are kept updated with latest additions, changes, as such it has a learning angle to it. and it is cheap and easy and works for 'just-in-time' needs.

Clive Holtham

Sep 23, 2012, 12:21:31 PM9/23/12
There is a very interesting list of abandoned Google projects at

Given that these days even small schools are able to implement Moodle which has a vast community supporting and enhancing it, the free software niche that Google is going after strikes me as a relatively small one. For larger organisations, reliable interfacing with eg the registration system and third parties eg through plug-ins and Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI) are.why institutions go with Blackboard, Moodle etc.

On the red tape front, there is a Free Moodle server operating out of New Zealand:
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