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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Universities are still standing. The MOOC revolution that never happened.

Associate Professor David Glance
It is two years since Coursera began offering massive open online courses (MOOCs) that threatened the very existence of Universities and the increasingly expensive education they offered. It was really only a matter of time before bricks-and-mortar universities faced the same digital battle-to-the-death that has transformed other industries like newspapers and music. Universities faced a MOOC “tsunami” and “avalanche”. reports David Glance, Director of Innovation, Faculty of Arts, Director of Centre for Software Practice at University of Western Australia 

Two years on however, the avalanche/tsunami/revolution never came and universities are not only still standing, they have, by-and-large, been remarkably unaffected by the free courses now offered by a couple of hundred universities around the world. Arguably MOOCs have spurred a renewed interest in using what is called a “blended learning” approach to university courses, offering students a mix of online and face-to-face tuition. But beyond this, one can argue that MOOCs have had limited impact on the day-to-day business of universities.

MOOCs replace lectures
Photo: The Conversation

The logic of why MOOCs presented such a threat to the existing higher educational model was reasonably sound. Faced with an option of quality courses that were free, why would people continue to saddle themselves with, what in some cases is a lifetime of debt, to take courses from second or third-tier universities and colleges?
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Source:The Conversation