Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Clearer Role for MOOCs - Clea Simon, Harvard Gazette

Massive open online courses, or MOOCS, will not destroy the university as we know it, says Lawrence S. Bacow, member of the Harvard Corporation and former president of Tufts University. While this burgeoning educational trend may seem poised to undercut four-year residential colleges, it may not be the cost-conscious alternative it seems. But it may offer new opportunities — and new ideas — to revitalize higher education. This new technology must be understood to be utilized properly by universities — and by informed consumers. For starters, despite the apparent cost savings, online learning is actually expensive. Like most startups, it currently lacks a coherent business model, with the vast majority of costs falling to the university, or content provider. In addition to the expense of creating a class — including faculty training and salary — online learning requires up-to-date technological infrastructure to optimize delivery. http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2015/06/a-clearer-role-for-moocs/

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