Academics are down on MOOCs. Business schools aren’t

Academic leaders are increasingly skeptical of MOOCs, so why are top business schools increasingly warming to the online learning model? An annual report on online education published this week may hold a clue, Bloomerg reports.

Babson Survey Research Group polled more than 2,800 colleges and universities for an annual study (pdf) on online education and found that 39 percent disagreed with the statement that massively open online courses “are a sustainable method for offering courses.” That’s up from 26 percent who answered the same way in last year’s survey.

Meanwhile, Harvard Business School is experimenting with MOOCs, and Wharton made its entire first-year MBA course load available for free on Coursera. Five other schools in Bloomberg Businessweek’s top 10 full-time programs have taken the plunge, including the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Enough MBA programs have made classes available through MOOCs that the website Poets & Quants published a course guide for the MOOC MBA. It’s an appealing concept: The website followed up with a prospective MBA who plans to piece together a business school education from Harvard, Wharton, Yale, and other top schools for less than $1,000.

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