So where will online growth come from? A report last week from Moody’s indicated that massive open online courses (MOOCs) represent a “pivotal development” in higher education and could revolutionize the industry.
A ton of educational innovations are coming down the pike as a result of big data, which effectively turns “learning” – heretofore somewhat ineffable – into a living, breathing body that can be monitored: closer to medicine than education has ever been.
It is for this reason – the “massive” element – that MOOCs may prove to be important. With mass comes big data. And with big data comes better product and engagement of traditional age students. But massive courses aren’t the only path to big data. Smaller courses with much higher completion rates could prove to be a better source of data.
Regardless, in the coming years education research will allow us to check the two hard boxes: product and engagement of traditional age students. Real growth for online education – what we call Online Education 2.0 – will come when we’re firing on all four cylinders, not just two.