Technology is paving a new way for more students to connect with some of the best teachers on the planet. From Stanford to MIT to Harvard and beyond, there are massive open online courses sprouting up everywhere. It’s never been easier to take a course (or even get a whole darn degree) online.
One of the most interesting and maddening issues to emerge from the debacle at the University of Virginia over the past month has been the obsession that people far removed from the actual work of teaching college and university students have for MOOCs.
The battle for the future of higher ed has landed—at least for the time being—on a concept few in academe had even heard of a year ago: the Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC. The idea of offering free courses online to tens of thousands of students has suddenly become the latest, greatest way to “fix” higher ed, promoted by education-technology entrepreneurs and bemoaned by traditional academics