MOOC Skeptics at the Top

02 May

By Scott Jaschik

It would be easy to think that the leaders of American higher education are all in when it comes to MOOCs. Dozens of colleges and universities — many of them among the elites — have rushed to offer massive open online courses. Top foundations back the effort. The American Council on Education has moved quickly to certify some of the courses as credit-worthy. Many other colleges are considering plans to award credit for MOOCs or to use them in instruction.

But it turns out that — when asked privately — most presidents don’t seem sure at all that MOOCs are going to transform student learning, or reduce costs to students — two of the claims made by MOOC enthusiasts and an increasing number of politicians and pundits.

That is a major finding of a Gallup survey of college presidents (based on responses from 889 of them) being released today. Inside Higher Ed editors and others helped Gallup draft the questions, as part of a new Gallup/Inside Higher Ed collaboration that will feature brief quarterly surveys of presidents on timely issues. (Gallup is also the survey provider for Inside Higher Ed’s annual surveys of key decision-makers in higher education, including an annual, more detailed survey of presidents. Unlike the surveys Gallup does for Inside Higher Ed, this series does not break answers down by sector).

The margin of error on the survey, according to Gallup, is 3.3 percentage points.

[ Full article available at Inside Higher Ed: ]

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Posted by on May 2, 2013 in MOOCs in the News



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