Sebastian Thrun, founder of the free online learning platform Udacity and visionary of massive open online courses (MOOCs), added to the controversial learning method by declaring that MOOCs have been a colossal failure.
Thrun says that although more than 1 million students from 190 countries have signed up for the free courses, only 10 percent finish.
In other words, are students actually learning from this revolutionary idea?
While Thrun’s statement reinforced what anti-MOOC proponents have said, namely that online courses cannot replicate quality educators and provide the same in-depth, intimate discussions in the classroom.
The following articles challenge Thrun’s comments and suggest that not only are MOOCs desirable, but they may in fact be on the rise:
For IT professionals looking to advance their careers or people who want to make a career change to tech, taking a MOOC in a technical topic can help, according to employers. The caveat: People need projects that show hiring managers how they’ve used the tech skills they learned online.
Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland has an 18.4 percent completion/success rate – over double the national average for MOOCs.
Despite people’s comment on the low completion rates for MOOCs and Thrun’s unhappiness with his course’s impact, enrollment in MOOCs is rapidly growing. Search engine giant Google has put their engineering team onto the edX platform.