Amherst College, known for its selectivity, is accustomed to sending rejection notices. But when the liberal-arts beacon this month turned down an invitation to join the exclusive partnership of colleges offering massive open online courses through edX, it nonetheless drew surprise from many corners of academe.
Colleges have clamored to be part of the high-profile consortiums run by edX, a Cambridge-based nonprofit, and Coursera, a Bay Area start-up—often with little input from faculty members. The pace of adoption has shocked even the founders of the MOOC platforms, who are veterans of a higher-education sector notorious for its tortoiselike reflexes.
But Amherst’s rejection of edX, decided by a faculty vote, could mark a new chapter for MOOCs—one in which colleges revert to their default modes of deliberations and caution. “I think we’re at the early stages of that honeymoon period coming to an end,” says Richard Garrett, vice president and principal analyst of the consulting company Eduventures.
[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Some-Colleges-Are-Saying/138863/ ]