The New York Times recently published an article outlining a very new and potentially game-changing way of learning online: Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs.
This article does a great job of explaining exactly what MOOCs are, the potential benefits of them, the inherent downsides, and their future role in the college system.
Coursera,a year-old company founded by two Stanford University computer scientists, is leading the way for MOOCs and are expected to launch over 100 free MOOCs, drawing millions of student and adult learners globally!
While I think there are some very great things to come from these online courses, I don't think they are the answer to the increasing costs of college degrees. The downsides they mention in the article are really interesting, and are three-fold:
- Cheating Issues
- Grading Issues
- Cannibalize enrollment at the very universities that produce them
For these reasons, and the fact that nothing beats hands-on experience and in person group collaboration, I don't think Coursera is going to revolutionize how students learn. What are your thoughts?