By Jeffrey R. YoungTo 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/ ]