In this age of information, people can break the distinction between time and space to touch the top universities in the world through a massive open online course (MOOC). As the biggest platform of MOOC, Coursera is a for-profit educational technology company co-founded by Stanford University professor of computer science, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller. It provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses online which includes courses in dozens of subjects such as natural sciences, humanities, culture and the arts. Some courses have to pay some courses charge fees. After the study is over, learners can get a certificate by paying a fee.
There are only three museums collaborate with Coursera: Exploratorium, the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). MoMA was the only art museum to be invited. (Here are the courses which provides by MoMA.) In 2013, they offered professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers all over the world. Whereafter,they provided free MOOCs “Seeing Through Photographs” and “In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting” which attracted tens of thousands of students. Because the MOOCs are offered on demand and learners can register at any time, MoMA will continue to activate them in different ways — broadcasting exhibition, hosting Q&As and sharing resources and programs, which will be archived in the course as additional content. At any time, thousands of learners around the world, though they do not have shared physical classrooms, are still exchanging and discussing warmly at the MOOC Forum and evaluating each other’s final projects.
Although MOOCs are not yet widely used in art organizations, we can get some inspiration from MoMA examples. As digital technologies continue to grow, the arts organizations need to focus more than just marketing on social media. The arts education department also needs to keep up with the pace of the times, use modern information technology to expand its audience and make good use of its own resources to better achieve the mission of the organization.