Is The MOOC Hype Dying?
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  • Mister_Carson

    I recently “enrolled” in a Coursera history course, and was bored to tears by it, and although I’ve often thought about going back to get another degree (BS Physics, MSEE, graduated 30+ years ago, but history is now
    my abiding passion), but this reminded me of why I won’t be doing that. (That and the desks are too small for me and being around 10 year olds with 10 years or more of experience is simply a non-starter for me)

    The literally medieval lecture format is not something I can to “engage” in anymore. There were efforts to to have students interact via blogs and various assignments, but the presentation method is just awful. It
    didn’t help that the material was not advanced enough, either, but really it was the presentation that did me in. I’ve learned more in less time from a class from the “Great Courses” series.

    So this autodidact will keep looking, and keep reading on my own, and will miss the comprehensiveness that a good collegiate program can bring to learning, but without the cultural Marxism/critical theory that has
    nearly drowned the social sciences with its effluent.

    I do hope the MOOCS continue to mature, and will still be cheering them on.

  • skhpcola

    “the extremely low completion rates for his company’s courses—often lower than 10 percent”

    That doesn’t seem too bad, when viewed in perspective. If modern universities actually gave a damn about teaching and graded according to an honest assessment of learned content, sit-down, traditional universities wouldn’t fare much better. It’s simply a datum to illustrate the continuing failure of leftist ideology and arrogance.

  • Nick Johnstone

    Thrun as the Godfather of MOOCs? What of George Siemens, Stephen Downes or Mike Feerick of alison.com that was founded in 2007 before the word MOOC was even coined to describe it? Some questionable hagiography here for a man who has abandoned a mission to educate those who need it most in favour of an easier business venture to please VC investors needing return. Let’s focus on Udacity’s failure to realise the social responsibility in the open education field and devote more attention to people like ALISON and EdX who are persevering with the mission to really educate those who need it.

  • Greg

    I don’t really understand why low completion rates are a problem. People aren’t penalized for signing up for a class just to view the lectures or dabble a bit, so relatively few will do all the work. So what?

    Traditional universities have high completion rates because the negatives of universities (cost, bad grades on permanent transcripts, etc.) are so high.

  • teapartydoc

    The clock keeps ticking. If I were wedded to the current system I would consider this a temporary reprieve, not a full pardon. After the appeals have run their course the verdict will remain: higher education is failing. Slowly, but failing all the same. Those huge limeston and brick buildings are going to be superfluous someday and everyone knows it. The insstitutions that are going to survive will be the disruptors that actually facilitate the transition to whatever new form emerges.

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