Call it the year of the mega-class.
Colleges and professors have rushed to try a new form of online teaching known as MOOC’s—short for "massive open online courses." The courses raise questions about the future of teaching, the value of a degree, and the effect technology will have on how colleges operate. Struggling to make sense of it all? On this page you’ll find highlights from The Chronicle's coverage of MOOC's.
What are MOOC's?
MOOC's are classes that are taught online to large numbers of students, with minimal involvement by professors. Typically, students watch short video lectures and complete assignments that are graded either by machines or by other students. That way a lone professor can support a class with hundreds of thousands of participants.
Why all the hype?
Advocates of MOOC's have big ambitions, and that makes some college leaders nervous. They're especially worried about having to compete with free courses from some of the world’s most exclusive universities. Of course, we still don't know how much the courses will change the education landscape, and there are plenty of skeptics.
Via Susan Bainbridge