Two more on MOOCs

Europeans Take a More Cautious Approach Toward Online Courses.” D.D. Guttenplan. The New York Times (17/2/13): A thoughtful look at some of the implications of the current feeding frenzy:

While the atmosphere around the open courses in the United States resembles the early stages of an oil boom, the reaction in Europe seems distinctly cautious.

William Lawton, the director of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, the British research group that organized the conference, said that MOOCs had grown out of the movement for open educational resources.

“Originally, the ideal was about widening access to elite courses,” he said. “But can it still be about widening access when it’s increasingly about finding new business models and competitive advantage?”

There do seem to be some teething pains:

Professor Leaves a MOOC in Mid-Course in Dispute Over Teaching.” Steve Kolowich. The Chronicle of Higher Education (18/2/13): Daphne Koller, one of Coursera’s founders, “said that teaching a MOOC ‘can, indeed, be a challenge to deal with for someone used to the much more uniform population of a typical university setting.'”

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