An Early Report Card on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

MOOCs promise to change the face of higher education, one giant classroom at a time. Here’s what they’re doing well—and how they can do better.

If the MOOC movement were in college, it would be time for a freshman report card. The assessment: great potential, but still in need of remedial work.  MOOCs, or massive open online courses, went mainstream last year, heralded as the next great technological disruption in education. The big idea is that putting lecture videos and interactive course work on the Web will make it possible for top-notch university education to reach more students and allow for different styles of learning.   Already, MOOCs have shown they can attract students in huge numbers. The largest provider, Coursera, has drawn five million, and nonprofit provider edX more than 1.3 million. And while the majority are still based in the U.S., their learners come from all over the globe: Among edX’s students, 9% came from Africa and 12% from India.

Read the entire article by Geoffrey A. Fowler on the Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303759604579093400834738972

Image Credit: 
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303759604579093400834738972
Lindsay Holmes/The Wall Street Journal
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