MOOC mania may be slowing

MOOC mania may be slowing. Even boosters of massive open online courses wonder if they’re just a fad. So far, few MOOC students are applying for college credit, in part because many already have earned degrees.

How will technology change higher education? Instead of listening to lectures, students could learn in personalized online environments.

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  1. cranberry says:

    I’d be very interested in learning how many successful MOOC students had a prior, “real” degree. If more than 90% of the (very few) students who manage to complete a course previously completed a traditional degree, that vouches for the efficacy of traditional education.

    If very few students without a traditional degree can complete a MOOC course, that fact should be known, as at present companies are pushing MOOCs as replacements for traditional degrees. If a new MOOC student has a 95% chance of not completing the course, that’s a useful fact.

    • Roger Sweeny says:

      MOOCs are pretty new. Nobody younger than an early twentysomething had a chance to get a standalone MOOC degree. If any of those older people were smart and conscientious and academically-oriented, they got a traditional degree.

      Now, because they are smart and conscientious and academically-oriented, some are taking MOOC courses.

      Would it be possible for today’s 18-year-olds to skip the traditional degree entirely and get a four-year MOOC degree? Maybe for those with extraordinary self-control. But I don’t see it working for most young people.

      I suspect MOOCs can work if they are a small part of a person’s course load (maximum one course per term). They might also work for a person who is not in a degree program and is looking for some specific knowledge or skill. That would provide the motivation to stay current in the course and do the assigned work.