By the time classes began, enrolment had swelled to 158,000, with students from every country in the world except North Korea. Then, on campus, something bizarre happened. “On day one, we had this full class of 200 students. And just two or three weeks in, the class was empty. There were only 30 students showing up.” He asked around. “And they all said, they actually preferred me on video. They can rewind me on video.”
The internet programme also allowed students to be quizzed and marked automatically, on a scale never before possible. Twenty-three thousand students eventually “graduated” from Thrun’s computer science course. Just over one per cent of them got perfect scores. None of those were Stanford students.