Online Learning Update

May 26, 2012

As Elite Colleges Invite the World of Online Learning, Questions Remain on Their Business Plans

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By Jeff Selingo, Chronicle of Higher Ed

When Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced this month that they were forming a partnership to offer online courses free to the masses, they pledged $60-million to the effort, dubbed edX. That’s about twice the median budget of four-year colleges and universities in the United States. All for courses that, for now, won’t bring in a penny in tuition revenue. Perhaps the alternative admissions method could feed a new school created at the university. That’s where these students could come, in person or virtually, for a high-quality education, perhaps for their first two years before moving into the traditional university to finish their degree. Or maybe the new school within the university would take them through graduation. There are plenty of options, many of which would allow these elite institutions to answer their critics—who want them to broaden enrollment as applications have skyrocketed—by expanding classes at the same time they maintain their quality and air of exclusivity.

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