Ma, There’s A MOOC Under My Bed

The irony about MOOCs is that hardly anyone opposes them except many of the academics qualified to teach them.

Recently academics, including groups of faculty at Amherst College, Duke University, and San Jose State University, have been publicly skeptical of, and even hostile to new forms of teaching online courses. Amherst faculty voted down a proposal to create MOOCs with edX, a nonprofit collaboration between Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Duke professors narrowly defeated an online teaching partnership with the for-profit 2U. Nearly 60 faculty members at Harvard itself recently issued a letter expressing angst over the cost of MOOCs and the "impact online courses will have on the higher education system."

But many of the concerns driving opposition to MOOCs and other new forms of higher education aren't compelling.

One of the most common doubts about MOOCs in higher education, for example, is that some numbers suggest fewer than 10 percent of enrollees complete the classes (though figures vary widely for different MOOC models).

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INSIDE HIGHER ED

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