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Cut Through the Hype, and MOOCs Still Have Had a Lasting Impact

13 Mar

By Jeffrey R. Young

Phot of George Siemens, an academic-technology expert at the U. of Texas at Arlington.

George Siemens, an academic-technology expert at the U. of Texas at Arlington: “Universities ignored the early wave of innovation in education — at least the larger ones did.”
[ Chris Bolin for The Chronicle ]

To some people in higher education, “MOOC” has become a punch line. The initial hype around so-called massive open online courses was so intense — promising a “tsunami” of change, according to one New York Times columnist, and a shuttering of most traditional colleges, according to one of the trend’s pioneers — that the reality was doomed to fall short.

“In some ways MOOCs have become the love child of a relationship that we regret,” says George Siemens, an academic-technology expert at the University of Texas at Arlington who coined the term while teaching an experimental online course seven years ago. “You don’t even say it without someone rolling their eyes.”

Despite the eye rolls, MOOCs haven’t gone away. A growing number of colleges offer them — more than 400 institutions, including 22 of the top 25 most selective universities, according to Class Central, a blog that tracks MOOCs. Venture-capital firms have thrown hundreds of millions of dollars into companies making or supporting the free courses.

So what are the lasting effects of MOOCs, according to those who help spark this revolution?

[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/article/Cut-Through-the-Hype-and/228431/ ]

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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in Industry News, MOOCs in the News

 

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