Is there no end to the conversation around MOOCS? MOOCS are for marketing. The New York Times published a story by Tamar Lewin on Jan 23, 2013: Public Universities to Offer Free Online Classes for Credit. Wonder if this will be the success they expect?
MOOC2Degree is a simple idea. Offer potential degree-stream students a chance to test out a course from your institution, provide them with some kind of credit for completing it successfully and you may have hooked them into paying for the rest of their education. Academic Partnerships is the new edstartup that is partnering with Arizona State, University of Cincinnati and the University of Arkansas; the company will take care of recruitment while the universities will select the courses they want to develop in the MOOC-model.
The article is vague on facts. I couldn’t tell whether the MOOCs would actually provide a recognized credit(s) or whether the fact that they were free and online would be the draw. There were few details of the MOOC-model they would follow or on which platform they would share the courses. It’s not a new idea, offering a free sample in the hopes of generating sufficient interest for a student to put money down for another course. But the ease of access may make it more powerful than attempts that educational institutions have made in the past.
I’m curious whether this is going to undermine the inherent value of education at well-recognized institutions. There has already been lots of talk about whether the cost of Stanford or Harvard degrees can be justified anymore.
Anyway, another variation to watch. Life is sure interesting in higher education these days.