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The MOOC ‘Revolution’ May Not Be as Disruptive as Some Had Imagined

08 Aug

“A medium where only self-motivated, Web-savvy people sign up, and the success rate is 10 percent, doesn’t strike me quite yet as a solution to the problems of higher education,” says Sebastian Thrun, of Udacity.
[ Winni Wintermeyer, Sipa USA, Newscom ]

By Steve Kolowich

In California, the MOOC revolution came to a halt unceremoniously.

Sen. Darrell Steinberg, the leader of the State Senate, quietly decided to put his online-education bill on the back burner last month. The bill, introduced with fanfare in March, originally aimed to push public universities to award academic credit to students who succeeded in some massive open online courses offered by outside providers. But now that the universities have promised to expand their own online courses, the senator sees no immediate need to let outside providers through the door, says his spokesman, Rhys Williams.

The fate of the California bill, SB 520, is the latest indication that MOOCs might not be the revolutionary force that many had imagined. They’re not bound for extinction, nor are the companies that rose to prominence on the strength of the MOOC hype doomed. But political, regulatory, administrative, and faculty barriers to the kind of unfettered online education that MOOC promoters originally envisioned have proved quite high, and it’s starting to look as if what they have to offer to universities may be technology tools and services that are more helpful than revolutionary.

[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/article/MOOCs-May-Not-Be-So-Disruptive/140965/ ]

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Posted by on August 8, 2013 in MOOCs in the News

 

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