Many states are wrestling with how to achieve the twin goals of making higher education both more affordable and accessible to their citizens. California and, more recently, Florida have been in the news as they struggle to find ways of taming the new elephant in the room…MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses). Political leaders, in apparent frustration with what they see as an intransigent academic community unwilling to control costs, see this new application of technology as the solution to concerns of access and cost. Others, including many academics, see MOOCs as an inferior intrusion into the education process that is fraught with questions of quality and effectiveness.
We have three issues here: cost, access and learning.