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Friday, May 24, 2019

Opinion | Online learning and the challenge for universities | Online learning - Livemint

Universities will have to embrace the advent of online learning to ensure their sustainability isn't in question by Kapil Viswanathan and V.G. Narayanan.

Photo: (HT file)

In the fall of 2011, when two professors at Stanford University shared a taped version of their popular computer science course online, little did they realize that they were heralding a revolutionary new medium of learning, the Massive Online Open Course, or the MOOC, as it has come to be known. More than 120,000 students from across the world registered for their course and within 12 months, MOOC platforms such as Coursera, Udacity, and edX came into existence.

MOOCs are often free pre-recorded courses that are streamed online and are available to hundreds of thousands of students from all over the world. There are thousands of MOOCs available from dozens of platforms taught by world famous experts and novices. It’s a free market and anyone can offer a course and anyone can take them. They offer the flexibility of learning on demand. Students can learn whenever it is convenient to them. They use high-quality videos, embedded software, quizzes and polls to deliver a highly engaging and interactive learning experience.

Pundits predicted that MOOCs would rapidly replace brick-and-mortar schools and universities. Educational publishers across the world fretted that MOOCs would replace text books and e-books, and scurried to add video and interactivity to their digital content...

Further, a student can today earn a university degree entirely online at a fraction of the cost of a traditional degree. Many universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, Georgia Tech and Imperial College London, partner with MOOC platforms to offer entirely online degrees in carefully chosen disciplines, largely in business and computer science, as an enhancement to their distance learning programmes.

Source: Livemint