A MOOC By Any Other Name

01 Jul

[ Gettystock ]

By John M. Eger

In the last few weeks the chatter about the role of MOOCS as a revolutionary tool in education has greatly accelerated.

Maybe it’s the Starbucks agreement with ASU. Maybe it’s the UK report about MOOCS in K-12 schools, as Forbes magazine recently discussed. Or maybe it’s that we have reached the tipping point and this strange thing we call MOOCS has penetrated public consciousness.

But what is a MOOC? Oh, we know it stands for massive open online courses, and that faculty and some administrators are very suspicious, if not outright hostile, about their legitimacy.

But more to the point, MOOCS are forcing us to think about online education, which is already here and here to stay. Call them MOOCS, called them distant learning initiatives, call them blended learning courses… the revolution has begun.

As you may remember, there are over 500 such MOOC initiatives in the world founded by academics at some of the most well know universities, i.e., Stanford, Harvard or MIT.


Perhaps simply because the cost of getting a college degree is no longer affordable to most young people, or in Europe where governments fund college experiences, costs too are becoming more troublesome. And some of the best minds in academe are saying something has got to change.

For now, at least, most MOOCS are free, and they are growing in size and importance despite the opposition of many institutions of higher learning. But to those young people who cannot afford either the tuition or the time or both to enroll in a university program, the MOOCS are catching on. And, as a result, the MOOCS are getting money and attracting talent too.

[ Full article available at The Huffington Post: ]


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