The Role O Br

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By hajranaveed
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Post-secondary schools of all kinds—expensive, elite colleges, state universities, and community colleges—are flirting with the idea of MOOCS, massive open online courses, where tens of thousands of students can take the same class simultaneously. Is this the future of college? Nathan Heller wrote about the phenomenon in the May 20, 2013 issue of The New Yorker in "Laptop U." I recommend you find a copy or subscribe online for the full article, but I'll share with you here what I gleaned as the pros and cons of MOOCS from Heller's article.
What Is a MOOC?
The short answer is that a MOOC is an online video of a college lecture. The M stands for massive because there is no limit to the number of students who can enroll from anywhere in the world. Anant Agarwal is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, and president of edX, a non-profit MOOC company owned jointly MIT andHarvard. In 2011, he launched a forerunner called MITx (Open Courseware), hoping to get 10 times the usual number of classroom students in his spring-semester circuits-and-electronics course, about 1,500. In the first few hours of posting the course, he told Heller, he had 10,000 students sign up from all over the world. The ultimate enrollment was 150,000. Massive.
The Pros
MOOCs are controversial. Some say they are the future of higher education. Others see them as the eventual downfall of it. Here are the pros Heller found in his research.
1. Are free. Right now, most MOOCs are free or nearly free, a definite plus for the student. This is likely to change as universities look for ways to defray the high cost of creating MOOCs. 2. Provide a solution to overcrowding. According to Heller, 85% of California's community colleges have course waiting lists. A bill in the California senate seeks to require the state’s public colleges to give credit for approved…...

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