The emergence of ‘MOOCs’ opens possibilities, and some perils, for academia.

by the Roanoke Times

Larry Sabato doesn’t need to teach a free online course to become a celebrity professor. The director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics is one of the most visible and quoted academics in the country, analyzing topics as broad as presidential elections and as close to home as your local House of Delegates race. But this fall, Sabato will enter the brave, new world of “massive open online courses,” or MOOCs. Sabato will lead a free online course examining the administration of President John F. Kennedy and his legacy in the half-century since his assassination. But, for academia, the possibilities come with perils. Sabato said universities must come up with a business model that ensures they don’t give away their intellectual product, which costs money to develop and sustain. Some have raised concerns that branded online courses offered by elite universities could diminish traditional programs at smaller colleges that thrive on face-to-face interaction between faculty and students.

http://www.roanoke.com/opinion/editorial/1982341-12/higher-educationfor-the-masses.html

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