As online education has boomed in recent years with new efforts by MIT, Stanford, Harvard and the Khan Academy, the concept of online education as a legitimate alternative to regular, campus education is being established.
Now, Google is releasing a new tool it calls Course Builder. This open source software allows anyone to easily create online education programs.
Course Builder came about due to another Google project from early 2012 called Power Searching With Google. This was a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that attracted more than 100,000 students from 196 countries. This allowed Google to develop common online instruction tools with Google’s highly developed array of communication and collaboration tools.
Google reports that using Course Builder to create online education programs will not require you to have much programming ability. It should be able to be accessed by anyone who has the ability to build and maintain a simple website.
Course Builder is seen at Google as an ‘experimental, early step’ for the company in the growing online education space. Google hopes to continue to develop projects in this area. They decided to make this limited open source project available to people now. They seem to want to see what early adopters do with the program. This will allow them to evaluate where the company should go next in the world of online education.
For programmers and others interested in this open source program, this is a great chance to network with the research team at Google. In the next few weeks, Google’s researchers and programmers on this project are going to interact with Course Builder users at various Google Hangouts. The Course Builder support website is already online, and the first update has been done on the free software download.