“When we no longer need multimillion-dollar gymnasiums with climbing walls because we don’t need walls, it’s going to change higher education completely” (Bersett, 2015).
Before this assignment prompt, I have never heard of MOOCs before, so I was very interested in learning about it. MOOC (massive open online courses) are large online courses offered for free by professors mainly at Ivy League universities. MOOCs have become a distributive force because they offer free online courses to whoever wants to enroll.
MOOCs were first started in 2008, but the impact of these courses was felt in 2011 (Bersett, 2015). In 2013, 5% of universities offered some type of MOOC, and that percentage triples for universities who enrolled more than 15,000 students. Of that, a small percentage of universities are offering MOOCs for credit (Bersett, 2015). In 2011, 106,000 students signed up for an AI course taught by a Stanford professor (Bersett, 2015).
I read a few articles where Colleges stated they are often afraid of MOOCs because they allow people to pick any type of courses they want online and take them for free. In the last decade, online courses have become attractive because (1) you do not need to be there, (2) it conforms to a single person’s schedule, (3) you do not have to worry about being accepted into these elite and highly competitive universities, (4) student debt has risen disturbingly high. MOOCs have become a new revenue model for higher education. The fact that MOOCs are free and open is what differentiates them from Universities who rely on acceptance into the school and tuition fees. One point that I could not understand was that the grading system is unclear, and there is either no or extremely limited interaction with the professor.
It makes you question the choices you made. Why did I spend thousands of dollars for a traditional college education where I could have completed self-paced college courses that only rely on me having an active internet connection? I could substitute my monthly tuition bill for a monthly internet charge.
The infographic I decided to share maps out the four key MOOC players (Coursera, Khan, Udacity, and EDX). Thrun created Udacity which is a for-profit MOOC and Princeton and Duke professors are teaching courses. Coursera was created by two Stanford professors and EDX is a non-profit MOOC founded by MIT and Harvard. MOOCs are also backed by Melinda and Bill Gates.
Bersett, K. (2015, February 16). Illinois State University. Retrieved from Illinois State eyes future as online courses reshape higher ed: https://news.illinoisstate.edu/2015/02/illinois-state-eyes-future-online-courses-reshape-higher-ed/
Nigel, H. (2014, March 1). MICHAEL SANDBERG’S DATA VISUALIZATION BLOG. Retrieved from Infographic: Major Players in the MOOC Universe (Nigel Hawtin): https://datavizblog.com/2014/03/01/infographic-major-players-in-the-mooc-universe-nigel-hawtin/