Online Learning Update

March 25, 2013

Coursera experiences glitches, growing pains: Self-discipline is one of many challenges to online learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

By MICHELLE MA, the Daily Pennsylvanian

Despite the hype surrounding massive open online courses, some challenges remain for both students and educators. This past February, a Coursera class entitled “Microeconomics for Managers” offered through the University of California at Irvine Extension program was canceled halfway through — it was supposed to last for 10 weeks. The professor, Richard McKenzie, cited “disagreements over how to best conduct this course” in a letter explaining the decision. In another instance, a Georgia Institute of Technology course on Coursera taught by Fatimah Wirth titled “Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application” was suspended after a week with students complaining about technical glitches and confusing instructions. According to Penn research assistant Andrew Steinmetz, who is assisting Penn Integrates Knowledge professor Ezekiel Emanuel in his “Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act” course on Coursera, admits that certain challenges exist in an online course environment.

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