MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are the latest addition to the lexicon of higher education, and quite possibly the most significant of them all. They represent a new generation of online education, freely accessible on the internet and geared towards very large student numbers.
Over recent months we have seen a remarkable spate of major MOOC ventures from top-ranked universities including MIT, Harvard, Princeton and Berkeley, offering free access to lectures and courses sourced from world leaders in their fields.
The phenomenon has been likened by the president of Stanford University to "a digital tsunami", threatening to sweep aside conventional university education. There is no doubt that something very important is happening in the global system, raising profound questions about the very nature and future of higher education.
Via Ilkka Olander