MOOCs: Are They about Access or Money?


This is a re-post from the On the Issues blog maintained by the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education [].


If you read the news, listen to legislators, or watch TED talks, you might think MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are just about providing free access to high-quality courses for anyone who wants to take them.

Moody’s Investment Services clearly has a different idea.  Its September 12, 2012 report, titled “Shifting Ground: Technology Begins to Alter Centuries-Old Business Model for Universities,” should be mandatory reading for everyone who thinks MOOCs and online education are really about student access and educational equity.

In the clearest of terms, the Moody’s report makes it clear that MOOCs are about money; and the biggest winners in MOOCs are not students, but elite universities:

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