Gartner, in its description of the Hype Cycle, says the “trough of disillusionment” is reached when “interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters.”

This part of the Hype Cycle is followed by newfound and compelling examples of “how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood,” according to Gartner.

Kim, while charging that it’s encouraging to see MOOCs moving through the Hype Cycle – even through the disillusionment part – said faculty and other skeptics should consider embracing the technology.

“If anything, the spread of MOOCs will be a positive development for all faculty, as MOOCs focus attention on teaching,” Kim wrote. “The best thing about a MOOC is not what it does for the learners engaged in the course, or the faculty member teaching the class, but what the MOOC does (or should do) for every course on campus.”

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