MOOCs: Inflated Expectations, Early Disappointments

Massive open online courses–online platforms offering courses and educational materials to very large numbers of people–captured our imagination in the Fall of 2011 when, unexpectedly, a free online course in artificial intelligence given by two Stanford University professors attracted 160,000 students, writes Irving Wladawsky-Berger for the Wall Street Journal‘s CIO Journal. The NY Times called 2012 The Year of the MOOC. Three major MOOC platforms were launched that year, the for-profit, VC-backed Udacity and Coursera, which were each started by Stanford faculty members; and the not-for-profit edX, a collaborative venture of MIT and Harvard University. They established partnerships with a number of universities which offer their own online courses on the platforms.  Other institutions around the world have also launched their own MOOCs.

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