Skepticism about massive open online courses

3 Nov

After much initial hype, skepticism about MOOCs (massive open online courses) has set in. MOOCs were supposed to disrupt higher education, shutter most universities, and send the faculty to the unemployment lines.

While, not yet.

Jeff Selingo writes in the New York Times:

‘Following the “hype cycle” model for new technology products developed by the Gartner research group, MOOCs have fallen from their “peak of inflated expectations” in 2012 to the “trough of disillusionment.”’

Selingo points out:

“when MOOCs replace traditional courses, an extremely high number of students fail. A well-publicized experiment backed by Gov. Jerry Brown of California at San Jose State University flopped. In one of the MOOCs, just 25 percent of students passed; in another, only 50 percent passed, much lower rates than for the on-campus equivalents.”

I enjoyed the programming course I took with Udacity and see a role for MOOCs, but they will not replace the classroom anytime soon.

In this video, students discuss on-line learning:

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