MOOCs: the future of higher education, or a passing phase?

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have quickly become one of the most polarizing developments in higher education. Many in higher ed see these MOOCs as innovations that could mark the turning point in how education is delivered, while others see MOOCs as a distraction, a phase, and a means for diluting a college degree. Whatever your feelings on these massive classes, the developments in how they’re created, delivered, and received have come at a furious pace over the past few months, and we’ve compiled our most pertinent MOOC coverage right here, all in once place.


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Has Coursera solved the catch-22 of for-credit MOOCs?

It’s the catch-22 of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Students want college credit for MOOCs, which would raise the price tag of the often-free courses.

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MOOC students to be identified with webcams

When the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and edX roll out new MOOC completion certificates to accompany more involved and time consuming courses next fall, they want to make sure students who are receiving certificates are the ones who did all the work – and they’re looking toward webcams to make this happen.

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A MOOC that will ‘cut across institutional boundaries’

Many colleges have delved into MOOCs, while others have approach the massive courses with caution. Either way, however, MOOC implementation has been isolated to a single school working with a MOOC platform.

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AMC is teaming up with UC Irvine to launch a MOOC about "The Walking Dead." It is one of several comic book-inspired MOOCs now available.
‘Walking Dead,’ comic books inspire MOOCs

The University of California (UC) at Irvine is collaborating with AMC to produce a free online course called “Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead,’” and it will be offered on Instructure’s MOOC platform, Canvas Network.

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How MOOCs are evolving with video technology

Video is critical, not only because it distinguishes MOOCs from earlier text-heavy open courseware initiatives, but also because the video lecture is the medium that allows MOOCs to bring a high fidelity in-class experience to massive audiences online.

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Coursera prof stops teaching online course in objection to MOOCs

In an about-face highlighting the ongoing debate surrounding massive open online courses (MOOCs), a professor held up as a “star” in online learning by MOOC providers and the media has decided to cut ties with Coursera, Gigaom reports.

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Has President Obama caught MOOC fever?

President Obama, in outlining his new education plan this week, didn’t utter the phrase “massive open online courses” or its handy acronym, but one could think otherwise, looking at the news articles, blog posts and tweets declaring that Obama has caught “MOOC fever.”

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Top MOOC experts to follow on Twitter

A simple search for massive open online courses (MOOCs) on Twitter will deliver a torrent of information, from headlines to insight to strong opinions on MOOCs, one of the most divisive issues in higher education.

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The ABCs of MOOCs: what it’s like to enroll

Esther Duflo, one of the two superstar MIT economists teaching my massive open online course (MOOC) on global poverty, is a fast-talking French woman with whom I could barely keep up — especially when the topic was math.

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As UMUC is specifically focused on adult learners, the university already accepts many forms of non-traditional academic credit.
University of Maryland University College to offer credit for MOOCs

University of Maryland University College (UMUC) believes it will be the first university in the Maryland system to let students earn academic credit for taking a massive open online course (MOOC).

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Sixty-eight percent of students who failed to complete a MOOC said a main reason was that they were "too busy."
Are students ‘too busy’ for MOOCs?

MOOCs are often championed for their accessibility, their convenience, and their engaging use of video lectures. So why, with retention rates hovering between 5 and 10 percent, do students have such trouble actually getting through a course?

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Thinkful has raised $1 million in funding from RRE Ventures, Quotidian Ventures and Peter Thiel
Coding course finds ‘sweet spot’ between MOOCs and colleges

People wanting to learn how to code have no shortage of options. There are college courses, companies like Codecademy and massive open online courses (MOOCs).

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SuperPosters scored high in MOOCs.
The rise of ‘SuperPosters’ in MOOCs

Participation has been an issue for massive open online course (MOOC) platforms as they face criticism from many corners of higher education, though there is one kind of MOOC participant that can serve as an example of an engaged student: the “SuperPoster.”

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MOOCs and the potential for learning socially

MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is an acronym as impossible to avoid as are the questions regarding the meaning of the individual words.

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A Northeastern University professor said the MOOC will focus on individual decision-making in giving.
New MOOC gives away Warren Buffett’s sister’s money

Billionaire Warren Buffett and his sister Doris have been gradually donating their riches to various causes and projects over the years. In fact, Doris Buffett hopes to redistribute all of her wealth before she dies, and has already given away more than $150 million of it.

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MOOC platform Coursera raises $43 million in funding

A growing backlash and simmering resentment among some faculty toward massive open online courses (MOOCs), coupled with low retention rates, means the technology’s future, and its ability to change higher education, is not yet certain.

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