Online Learning Update

March 29, 2014

Wisdom of massive open online courses now in doubt

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

By Meghan Drake-The Washington Times

“There is a lot of speculation that [MOOCs] were going to change the face of higher education. That’s not what’s happening,” said Jeff Seaman, co-director of Babson Survey Research Group. Mr. Seaman and fellow Babson researcher I. Elaine Allen conducted a survey charting fresh doubts about MOOCs as long-term higher-education supplements. Their study, which polled chief academic officers at 2,831 colleges and universities about online education, reported that 39 percent say they do not believe that MOOCs are sustainable models for their schools — up from 26 percent in 2012. “There still is not a clear business model to why I should do this,” Mr. Seaman said. Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng notes that half of MOOC students who complete the first homework assignment wind up completing the entire course. But skeptics say the virtues of MOOCs also are emerging as vices. “Two words are wrong in ‘MOOC’: massive and open,” Stanford President John Hennessy said in a widely noted interview with the Financial Times.

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