MOOCs, Pearson, and Profits


This piece is reposted from the “On the Issues Blog” maintained by the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education:  If you are looking for faculty-driven commentary on current issues in higher education, you should consider adding the “On the Issues” blog and the CFHE website to your links page.

MOOCs may prove to be another “bubble” like the online for-profit universities are proving to be, but their widespread adoption could be a much bigger threat to higher education than the University of Phoenix and Kaplan University ever were or will be.

In “Teaching by Hand in a Digital Age” (Chronicle of Higher Education Blogs March 11, 2013), Joseph Harris persuasively makes the case that the lack of instructor-student interaction is the fundamental failing of MOOCs—and a failing that will be especially noticeable in writing courses. Despite dubious claims that robo-readers can evaluate student writing as effectively…

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