In a year, MOOCs have gone from being a niche service for underserved markets, to a short-term fix for course supply problems in funding-starved public colleges, to a replacement for current shortfalls and future growth in public university systems that makes restored funding unnecessary, Remaking the University reports.  In the process, MOOCs have entangled themselves in the politics of higher education and the political economy of post-crisis capitalism.  They must now be held accountable both for the impact of their claims on public university budgets and for the social consequences of their educational outcomes.  My sense is that the emerging 4th phase is going to undermine for the good of students, faculty, and MOOCs that colleges can both maintain and use.  I’ll come back to these issues in upcoming posts.

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eCampus News staff and wire reports