Well-established universities and colleges like Harvard, Stanford and University of Cape Town are participating in the Massive Open Online course (MOOCs) movement. Despite the exponential growth of MOOC registrations, experts have questioned the effectiveness of these courses and found that more research is needed to determine the impact of online use for education.
MOOCs are conducted similarly to traditional lectures, but instead are presented through a computer usually in the form of pre-recorded videos or podcasts. There are no specific requirements to apply for an online course. All work is conducted online and participants can interact with each other via online forums.
Modules are often made available online by some universities but most institutions don’t offer complete degrees via MOOC. Perceptions are starting to change and online courses are slowly being accepted as reputable, but needs considerable time to prove they can provide education of high quality.
… Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology co- established EdX, which claims to have six million users a month.
However, approximately 90 percent of students in America discontinue their online courses for the chief reason of initially not having had paid to enroll.
There are all sorts of tradeoffs and problems with MOOCs, as with every educational tool and system.