Wednesday, November 26, 2014

College for All:“massive open online courses” (MOOCs)

College for All: Sebastian Thrun, Udacity, by Andre Dua: Something big is up in higher education thanks to the advent of “massive open online courses” (MOOCs), which can reach millions around the world. What most people—including university leaders—don’t yet realize is that this new way of teaching and learning, together with employers’ growing frustration with the skills of graduates, is poised to usher in a new credentialing system that may compete with college degrees within a decade. This emerging delivery regime is more than just a distribution mechanism; done right, it promises students faster, more consistent engagement with high-quality content, as well as measurable results. This innovation therefore has the potential to create enormous opportunities for students, employers, and star teachers even as it upends the cost structure and practices of traditional campuses. Capturing the promise of this new world without losing the best of the old will require fresh ways to square radically expanded access to world-class instruction with incentives to create intellectual property and scholarly communities, plus university leaders savvy enough to shape these evolving business models while they still can.

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