The disruption to come

by R.A. London, the Economist

Students will soon find that for very low prices they can get a much broader array of course choices, most of which offer superior instruction with much more flexibility: you can view the lectures when you want, as many times as you want, wherever you want. It will not be long before completion of particular MOOCs earn students enough credit at “real” universities to enable students to get a “real” degree. The stigma associated with MOOC learning should quickly flip to status signalling, since anyone who can do an entire degree online is probably disciplined and self-motivated. It is very easy to see how elite universities survive this, as they provide a fundamentally different experience. It is equally easy to see how large segments of the world of higher education are rendered unnecessary: where, within a decade or two, all that will remain of hundreds or thousands of less-selective universities will be the buildingsā€”and a skilled teacher or two who built courses that prospered in online markets.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/02/online-education

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