The MOOC Mantra and Higher Ed in the U.S.

What a concept – Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)! Let’s make higher education available for all through use of all the online accessibility that technology has brought us. Hmmmm, looks like this “technological fix” may be the very thing that is threatening the viability of higher education in the U.S. Arizona appears to be one state that would like to reduce its higher education costs by offering more online courses in place of the traditional classroom setting. Arizona State is now offering their incoming freshman class the option of taking all of their courses online. These courses will come with reduced tuition fees in order to earn college credit.

How can you resist the basic notion that we will now have more for less since technology now makes this all possible. But are we really offering the same service or quality of learning? Maybe we are simply increasing the affordability of college for many more learners. They will be getting what they can afford to pay, and it may be just what they need?

For example, the most significant impact to date appears to be that older and more professional students are more satisfied with the MOOC/online approach. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that higher education is no longer limited by a specific time and place in one’s life.

Ray Myers

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