Is online learning for steerage?

Is online learning for steerage passengers, while only the elite actually meet their professors? MOOC madness is raising questions.

 App Academy‘s nine-week course in software coding is free — till students graduate and find a job. Then the for-profit takes 15 percent of their first year’s base pay,

an average of $12,000 per graduate. Graduates who aren’t hired within a year pay nothing.

About Joanne


  1. I went to a top rated school and graduated highest honors and I never really met my professors either. I mean, I saw them in class, but that was about it. A video conference would have done as well. I had basically zero interaction outside of class. I am unclear as to what the MOOC critics think will be lost – the college experience they describe seems to have been vanishingly rare before MOOC and will continue to be after MOOC.

  2. At U. of Texas, where I went to college, the first couple of years (freshman, sophomore) were spent in huge classrooms in huge auditoriums, where the professor never met any of us in person. TAs did tutoring sessions, graded our papers, etc. However, by the last two years of my Bachelor’s (junior, senior), the classes had become much smaller, the professors had much more interaction with us, and even got to know us personally (to a degree).

  3. Perhaps yopu have not noticed how rich people currently attend places like Harvard and Yale and develop networks and contacts that will support them for a lifetime, while the rest of us languish on the outside, the victims of 500-person lecture theatres and commuter campuses.

  4. “MOOC madness” isn’t raising questions. It’s raising fears.

    If your school has a computer science program what’s the reason to run, and fund, your own Intro to AI classes when you can outsource the class to Udacity?

    The profs are certainly going to be against the idea although a few on par with the likes of Sebastion Thrun aren’t deterred. Administration is innately conservative but once it’s clear that a bunch of troublesome profs can be cleared out by MOOCs they’ll get on board. Parents, and students who pay their own way, will adore the idea since it’ll cut costs and, inevitably, prices.

    And of course the “U.S.-centric” nature of the question ignores the fact that in the age of the Internet Udacity and all the on-line classes that follow in its wake are internationally accessible.