MOOCs are the adolescents of higher education, Ray Schroeder writes for WCET Learn. Actually, they have been around for less than a decade through which they have undergone an evolution that is marked by the growth spurts and changes in priorities that many of us have noted in the maturing of our own children, nieces, and nephews.  As adolescents, it is not yet fully clear where MOOCs will go when they mature. MOOCs date back half a dozen years with early experiments in teaching larger online classes in the U.S. and Australasia.  The OERu Foundation documents some of the early efforts. These early MOOCs were different in several respects.  “Massive” was defined in hundreds rather than hundreds of thousands of students.  Early MOOCs were truly open educational resources.  The materials of the classes were freely available even after the class was completed.  And, the early MOOCs were associated with non-profit universities, they were not associated with entities seeking a revenue stream to sustain themselves, such as Coursera and Udacity.

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About the Author:

Jake New

Jake New studied journalism at Indiana University, where he was editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, the Indiana Daily Student. At the IDS, Jake covered the IU administration, minority student issues, and state education policy. After a brief stint at the Bloomington Herald-Times covering IU, crime, and local politics, Jake interned at the Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington D.C, writing about online learning, open-access policies, academic publishing, and ed-tech startups. Jake joined eCampus News as an assistant editor in May 2013, where he continues to cover technology and higher education. His days often begin with a cup of coffee and the sinking feeling that another MOOC story is just around the corner. Follow Jake via Twitter: @eSN_Jake