The MOOC is perceived as a major disruptive force in teaching, clearly one that the education world is talking about as hundreds of thousands of students across the globe log on to courses from some of the best professors on the planet. The debate is underway regarding quality, economic efficiency, sustainability, and global reach. Will MOOCs live up to the hype? Are MOOCs a viable alternative to the college campus education experience? Will our love affair with technology disrupt that one-on-one connection that so frequently brings learning to life? Co-presented with NBC News' "Education Nation". Featuring Andrew Ng, Anant Agarwal, Shirley Ann Jackson, and Andrea Mitchell
Via Mark Smithers
The excitement about MOOCs is simply a reflection of the fact that we are at a tipping point of unsustainability in the current world order. MOOCs will be one of a range of events that will bring about change to an industry that has so far resisted the transformations happening to all other industries around it.
This week, News Corp.’s education arm Amplify announced a high school MOOC for AP Computer Science. The course, which kicks off in August, is intended to give students two semesters of academic instruction in preparation for the College Board’s exam. The online program, taught by an experienced high school teacher, is free to students. And an added option, called MOOC Local, which provides schools with students in the CS MOOC additional resources, will cost $200 per student but is free to schools for the first year.
A new Gallup Poll has found that the factor adult Americans are most likely to say is most important in selecting a college is the percentage of graduates who are able to find a good job. That factor was picked by 41 percent of those polled, followed by the price of the college (37 percent) and graduation rates (16 percent). The wealthier that respondents were, the more likely they were to say that the job success of graduates was the most important factor.
A prominent member of the open education movement, former Open University Vice-Chancellor Sir John Daniel, has criticised online education provider Coursera for not making its materials available under creative commons licensing.
Innovation is just beginning within the terrestrial college campus and I think the next opportunity lies in introductory courses. 101 courses are the building blocks upon which college students learn a new subject, discover interests, and set a course of study.
In order to keep costs low, MOOC providers are making sacrifices that reduce the quality of the education their students receive by limiting the amount of money spent on faculty and student services. That is why New England College of Business and Finance (NECB) focuses on what I like to call “classically offered online classes” or COOCs, instead of MOOCs.
What edX is intending to do is to thus expand higher education and not destroy universities. It aims to provide traditional university models with the tools, research, and pedagogy to succeed in a growing digital culture and face the other challenges with respect to learning and recruitment in higher education.
MOOCs, competency-based education and other forms of reform are based on worthy ideas, writes Dan Greenstein. But in the chase for the next big thing, some have forgotten the goal of improving higher education, not just making it more efficient.
There are many similarities between higher education in the United States and Australia, but the government support of tuition levels mean Australian higher education institutions must compete on factors other than price.
There is now a higher distribution of career-focused college majors, but these degrees may be going to students who would not have gone to college at all in prior generations. The more important moral and policy question is what academic requirements should be in place, whether in English composition or probability and statistics, among students across all majors – including those who go to college with a specific career in mind.
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