Professors still view MOOCs skeptically

The New York Times calls 2013 “the year of the MOOC.” But massive open online courses still fail to get high marks from most educators, Scientific American reports.

In a recent survey of more than 2,200 professors, only one in five thought that online courses could be as effective as classroom curricula. Their biggest concern: limited interaction between teachers and students.

… Respondents linked MOOC credibility to whether an online course was offered by an accredited school and to a student’s ability to receive credits. Faculty skepticism isn’t surprising. New technologies often turn crafted products and services into bland commodities, something no teacher wants. On the other hand, resistance to change, especially when it involves computers, tends to be a losing strategy in most fields.

An important wrinkle in the data: much MOOC criticism comes from faculty who’ve never taught an online course.

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