Are MOOCs hyped? | Creativity and learning |

Author: Valerie Strauss


If you haven’t heard of MOOCs, you no doubt will, because these Massive Open Online course are becoming all the rage, tagged as the biggest thing in public education since, well, the dawn of public education. (It wasn’t long ago that the Khan Academy was). My colleague Nick Anderson reported about the emergence of the MOOCs movement as a disruptive force in higher education. But there are reasons to think MOOCs are being hyped, and below, former schools superintendent Larry Cuban explains why. Cuban is a former high school social studies teacher (14 years, including seven at Cardozo and Roosevelt high schools in the District), district superintendent (seven years in Arlington, VA) and professor emeritus of education at Stanford University, where he has taught for more than 20 years. His latest book is “As Good As It Gets: What School Reform Brought to Austin.”


This appeared on his blog.


By Larry Cuban

I have a confession to make. I dropped out of a Massive Open Online course (MOOC) on Artificial Intelligence at Stanford university in the Fall of 2011. There were over 160,000 other students in the class from all over the world. I listened to the two professors on my laptop give mini-lectures, watched fast hands scrawl quickly and cleverly over whiteboards to graphically display the concepts they were teaching. I found the information fascinating. I took a few quizzes. Then I fell behind and realized that I couldn’t keep up, given the other things I was doing so I dropped out. End of story about my first encounter with a MOOC. Turns out, however, that about 138,000 others dropped out also since only 14 percent completed the course and received a certificate.