Well if I’m completely honest I have always hated online classes. The main reason in my opinion is because I am in the heavily theoretical field of electrical engineering where most of the lecture consist of explaining hard, and sometimes non-intuitive, concepts through a myriad of equations. Its hard enough to concentrate while siting in class, and it becomes much harder online when you can barely hear or see the professor, you have the absolute freedom to do anything you want, and having an actual conversation is harder than using Morse code to communicate. All joking aside, my experience with online learning has not been great. However, a big part of my disappointment comes due to having high expectations, especially when you pay thousands of dollars to attend the class.
MOOCs on the other hand, assuming they stick with open access and free, could be a really good way to obtain a quality education. I’m willing to put in the extra effort needed to succeed in an online class for the convenience of obtaining a free education from home. Life is a compromise, I can settle with a less interactive and personal experience if this is balanced with having a free and open to all course. However, once I pay a significant amount of money to obtain a quality education, I will not settle for anything less than the optimal. On a different note, MOOCs can help bridge the gap between people of different economic standing by providing advanced education to whomever wants it. Removing money from the equation opens the door to many people you are skilled, talented, and determined to obtain a quality education, but could not afford it.