Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a relatively new concept in higher education and offer access to online courses for free to students. The following infographic shows some of the universities that are offering these classes and gives some information about the students who are taking advantage of this new form of education.
I think that this free access to education is a wonderful idea and a great service. When I look at the breakdown of students, however, I notice that over 50% of the students who are enrolled in MOOCs already have at least a bachelors degree. While I believe in the importance of continuing education and support the use of these services for people to increase their skill sets, I think that as a society we need to figure out how to promote higher education to those people who do not have a college degree. This could be by simply promoting these types of programs more or by creating resources to make these programs more accessible. I think that community centers or libraries could be good infrastructure that could be leveraged in order to build support and access to MOOCs. By advertising in these spaces and providing computers that students could use to access their classes, I believe that more people would be aware and have access to these free courses.