Government of Western Australia Official Site


UWA joins Stanford’s open-source online platform

The University of Western Australia (UWA) plans to launch two online courses that will be accessible through mobile devices when its next semester starts in March 2013. The courses in sociology and oceanography will be available to both internal students and the general public as massive open online courses (MOOCs). The mobile app that enables the courses was created by the UWA, and is based on Class2Go open source platform developed by a group of Stanford engineers. As open source, the mobile app will be made available for use by Stanford – and anyone else.

David Glance, director of the Centre for Software Practice at the University of Western Australia (UWA) said: “Universities throughout Australia are showing extraordinary interest in online learning and MOOCs. Starting with iPhones, and then moving on to iPads and Android phones, the mobile app will enable students to take an entire course on the phone.”

“The whole idea of a course on a phone is very appealing” Glance said. “We’re really living in a post-PC world; there are more mobile phones than computers. Our students aren’t bringing laptops to campus anymore anyway. So it would be really nice to be able to take a course on the phone, picking up where you left off in a seamless synchronization across devices.”

He continued: “The beauty of open-source technology is that people around the world can build things together. The technology can grow flexibly as developers respond directly and creatively to users’ needs and imaginations. Open source permits schools to adapt technology to their own needs.” Mr. Glance has spent the past few months meeting with faculty throughout his university, to spread the online gospel. Overall, he said, the university has been ‘incredibly supportive,’ and there is lots of media interest, both in MOOCs in general and in UWA’s collaboration with Stanford in particular.

Mr. Glance sees Class2Go as a future platform for universities to collaborate among themselves, sharing classes and technology. For example, UWA is a member of the Worldwide Universities Network, an international organization of research universities, which is considering pooling resources for online learning.

For more information see the full news release: