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Higher Education’s Internet Revolution
American Magazine, by Edward Tenner

Original Article

Posted By:eagleblurst, 12/18/2013 10:04:26 AM

Are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) a failure? Two years ago, their advocates predicted a revolution in higher education, with courses by the world’s leading lecturers offered free, or at low cost, to tens or even hundreds of thousands of students, sometimes even for credit. Was this the answer to escalating tuition and crushingly high levels of student debt? The initial numbers were remarkable. Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford computer science professor famous for his contributions to self-driving automobiles, co-founded an online education company called Udacity and offered a free course on artificial intelligence that had an initial enrollment of more

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: rarebear, 12/18/2013 10:27:14 AM     (No. 9658632)

Establishment academics do not want to sully their hands with "teaching". It is beneath them, whether it´s done on an ivy draped bricks-and-mortar campus or in front of a video camera; it is not what they signed up for. The less contact they have with the plebeians from outside of their peer groups, the better.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Skeptical1, 12/18/2013 11:28:34 AM     (No. 9658725)

I completed a Stanford MOOC earlier this year, and I thought the experience was, on balance, better than a traditional classroom experience. It differed from self-study in that it had a fixed schedule for progressing from topic to topic, homework, quizzes, and grades. They had interactive forums for comments and questions which, combined with the lecturer´s personality, made the class seem like a little community. What was lacking in the ability to interact with the instructor was made up for, in my opinion, by the ability to stop and replay her lectures.

I think the challenge will be to find a way to package a library of MOOC´s into a total educational package, possibly one that could be franchised to local "re-sellers" who could offer coaching, proctoring, and labs at much lower cost than traditional colleges.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Caveman, 12/18/2013 12:04:24 PM     (No. 9658797)

I enjoy going through the courses at MIT and Cornell. I do it just for the sake of leaning, not actually enrolled to complete the course.
The only real draw back is doing the labs if there are special equipment needed.

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