Are Massive Online Classes The Future We Want For Education?

November 18, 2013 in Daily Bulletin


Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, are a system whereby universities around the world can gain access to the very best universities by streaming courses, participating in seminars online and then working at their home university as well. Is this the best of both worlds, asks Anya Kamenetz?

  • MOOCs can trace their origins to when MIT began putting its classes online. Nothing more than a few reading lists and a video camera set up at the back of the lecture hall, but these videos got millions of visitors.
  • Today MOOCs are accessed via edX (non-profit), Coursera and Udacity (for-profits). MOOCs follow a rough template of  lectures, readings, assignments, and assessment through “calibrated peer review”.
  • Giving a US education to the developing world sounds great, as students are able to access to a higher level of academia than they would otherwise be able to.
  • But is this at the cost of the local educational institutions? If all students around the world are able to learn from Stanford and MIT, will this mean that the host universities will never be invested in?

MOOCs are already a big deal in the developing world, and are being suggested as a way for US colleges which are low on funding to boost their classes (the suggestion of Bill Gates). For the full story, look over here

Source: Slate