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Exploring the ‘dark side’ of MOOCs

By Sarah Langmead, Assistant Editor, @eCN_Sarah
February 22nd, 2013

New infograph illustrates MOOC critics’ viewpoints.

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are the latest higher-education trend to capture attention, but not everyone is convinced that MOOCs are the solution to accessible post-secondary education. A new infograph sheds light on higher-education institutions’ opinions about MOOCs, their sustainability, and more.

The Dark Side of MOOCs, released by Online Colleges, an online education information resource,  explores whether or not massive open online courses live up to their hype.

It’s no secret that many colleges are concerned about the sustainability of MOOCs. In fact, 55 percent of surveyed institutions said they were undecided about their plans to offer MOOCs, while 32.7 percent said they had no plans to offer MOOCs. A mere 9.4 percent said they were in the planning stages to offer MOOCs, and a smaller 2.6 percent said they currently offer a MOOC.

The infograph studies three of the most popular platforms to offer MOOCs—Coursera, edX, and Udacity. Coursera, a for-profit MOOC provider founded by two Stanford professors, offers more than 210 courses as of press time, while edX is a nonprofit MOOC platform that is home to 25 courses and is run by MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. The for-profit Udacity currently offers 22 courses as of press time and also was founded by a Stanford professor.

(Next page: What are campus administrators’ chief concerns about MOOCs?)


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