British Universities join MOOCs bandwagon, US professor off-boards

26 top British Colleges have started offering free online courses from today. This is testimonial to the growing popularity of the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) despite the ongoing debates over high drop-outs, lack of personalisation and limited scope of assessments. Apologists of the new offerings are evolving better and better methods to counter those criticisms and so far it seems technology is in the ascendancy.  Read a related Times of India report here.

On the contrary a US professor who advocated MOOCs earlier has now decided to pull his course off Coursera. The popularity of MOOCs also has now resulted in fear among some that this will result in state cutting funding for Universities and this US professor seems to certainly think so. Now while cutting costs is something one hopes MOOCs will help achieve, will the State press for that with unrealistic targets in terms of quantum and time? Will Universities prune their offerings based on maintaining the justification for continued funding at the same rates? We believe it is difficult to stop an idea whose time has come, and universities will continue to offer these courses. We do also believe that universities will be forced to think of new ways of creating value for sustaining funding from the state, and we believe that is progress. Read a related TIME report here.

Also read a report on how Coursera has shown that money can be made from MOOCs through verified certification. Read an InTheCapital report by Molly Greenberg here.

 


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