MOOC Skeptics At The Top

It would be easy to think that the leaders of American higher education are all in when it comes to MOOCs. Dozens of colleges and universities — many of them among the elites — have rushed to offer massive open online courses. Top foundations back the effort. The American Council on Education has moved quickly to certify some of the courses as credit-worthy. Many other colleges are considering plans to award credit for MOOCs or to use them in instruction.

But it turns out that — when asked privately — most presidents don't seem sure at all that MOOCs are going to transform student learning, or reduce costs to students — two of the claims made by MOOC enthusiasts and an increasing number of politicians and pundits.

That is a major finding of a Gallup survey of college presidents (based on responses from 889 of them) being released today.

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