Online Education Enthusiasm Tempers After Tough 2013

Career College Central summary:

  • About a year ago many thought massive open online courses or MOOCs were the most important, revolutionary trend in higher education. This was due to the MOOC’s rapid expansion and the belief that it would help address cost and access for undeserved students. The thought was that students would be able to take free classes through various MOOC platforms that they otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to access.
  • Eric Westervelt of NPR writes that in 2013 faculty at several universities turned against the expansion of online learning. Now, the nation’s largest MOOC providers are speaking out. San Jose State University recently partnered with Udacity and began offering several low cost types of MOOC classes. Governor Jerry Brown plugged this program and it received enthusiastic publicity.
  • The experiment has been judged by some as a failure. The completion rates and grades were worse than on campus classes. The higher achieving students were not the “underserved” students San Jose had wanted to reach. Unfortunately, it was not a cheaper option either.For now, San Jose State has chosen to scale back on its relationship with Udacity. It is instead choosing to take control of the courses Udacity offers and is reconsidering MOOCs. Other schools have chosen to scale back also. Recent studies have shown that MOOC’s have very few active users. Only half who register ever view the classes. Completion rates only average around 4%.

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