MOOCs in the media

  • Beware of the High Cost of ‘Free’ Online Courses.” Steve Lohr. The New York Times (March 25, 2013): Michael A. Cusumano, professor at the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T.: “I am mostly concerned about second- and third-tier universities and colleges, and community colleges, many of which play critical roles for education and economic development in their local regions and communities.”
  • The Brave New World of College Branding.” Kevin Carey. The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 25, 2013): “There’s another way to think about brands and technology, however. This brings us, of course, to MOOCs. I know: again with the MOOCs. I apologize. Let’s set aside for a moment the question of whether MOOCs are the ultimate neoliberal conspiracy or mankind’s final redemption, and focus on the fact that they have been powered largely by brands.”
  • Walk Deliberately, Don’t Run, Toward Online Education.” William G. Bowen. The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 25, 2013): “There is a real danger that the media frenzy associated with MOOCs will lead some colleges (and, especially, business-oriented members of their boards) to embrace too tightly the MOOC approach before it is adequately tested and found to be both sustainable and capable of delivering good learning outcomes for all kinds of students.”
  • I Don’t Want to Be Mooc’d.” Albert J. Sumell. The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 25, 2013): “But at smaller, lower-ranked institutions like mine—those typically with a city rather than a state in their names—MOOCs present a greater concern. Cost is a more important factor for our students in deciding whether and where to enroll. We would see decreased enrollment and tuition revenue, and without an unexpected increase in public support, we would be forced to further reduce the number of tenure-track faculty positions and/or compensation to current faculty members as a result.”
  • Coursera’s Contractual Elitism.” Ry Rivard. Inside Higher Ed (March 22, 2013): “The Silicon Valley-based company said to be revolutionizing higher education says in a contract obtained by Inside Higher Ed that it will “only” offer classes from elite institutions – the members of the Association of American Universities or “top five” universities in countries outside of North America – unless Coursera’s advisory board agrees to waive the requirement.”
  • The Professors Who Make the MOOCs.” The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 20, 2013):

Robert W. Ghrist, a professor of mathematics and electrical and systems engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, is among [those who think MOOC students deserve course credit]. His MOOC, “Calculus: Single Variable,” is one of the five Coursera courses that ACE has recommended for credit. Fitting his assessments into the parameters of Coursera’s auto-grading system has been somewhat limiting, but no more than the math placement exams that Penn already uses, said Mr. Ghrist, who previously oversaw those tests. “I would, of course, prefer it if I could read over their work carefully and follow their logic,” he said. But that is a technology problem that Coursera will soon solve, he believes.

  • Colleges Assess Cost of Free Online-Only Courses.” David Wallis. The New York Times (March 18, 2013): Gary W. Matkin, dean of continuing education, distance learning and summer session at the University of California, Irvine, “forecasts tough times ahead for what he calls the ‘mediocre middle’ — institutions that have not been invited into what amounts to a higher-education V.I.P. room.”

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