By Ry Rivard
As scores of colleges rush to offer free online classes, the mania over massive open online courses may be slowing down. Even top proponents of MOOCs are acknowledging critical questions remain unanswered, and are urging further study.
Dan Greenstein, the head of postsecondary success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, now wonders aloud if MOOCs are a “viable thing or are just a passing fad.” Gates has agreed to spend $3 million for wide-reaching MOOC-related grants. But Greenstein said higher ed is suffering from “innovation exhaustion,” and MOOCs are part of the problem.
“It seems to me, at least with respect to MOOCs, that we have skipped an important step,” he wrote in an Inside Higher Ed op-ed last week. “We’ve jumped right into the ‘chase’ without much of a discussion about what problems they could help us to solve. We have skipped the big picture of where higher ed is going and where we want to be in 10 or 20 years.”
The American Council on Education is working with Gates; it also recommends colleges grant credit for some MOOCs it has reviewed. But ACE President Molly Corbett Broad said the free online classes have perhaps been greeted with more hype than is appropriate.
[ Full article available at Inside Higher Ed: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/07/09/higher-ed-leaders-urge-slow-down-mooc-train ]