Berlin-based MOOCs startup iversity, which last year began a pivot away from online learning collaboration tools with the aim of becoming the Coursera of Europe, is launching its first clutch of free online courses today.
iversity CEO Marcus Riecke said the level of launch traction it has achieved proves the MOOCs concept can fly in continental Europe, which has lagged behind the U.S. in experimenting with the massive online courses model for free-to-learn higher education. In the U.S., a raft of MOOCs players have sprung up, with Coursera, Harvard- and MIT-backed edX and Udacity being among the biggest. Six MOOCs are available from iversity at launch, with its initial curriculum spanning 24 courses in total (15 in English and the rest in German). The other courses will start at later dates this year and into 2014.
The initial course content spans a wide spectrum of topics — including philosophy, physics, architecture, economics, politics and engineering. Some of the courses hosted on their website will grant students credit points for completion, in line with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).