It’s been called the biggest educational revolution in centuries, an increasingly popular movement that could shape the future of higher learning around the globe.
And it could also threaten the very raison d’etre of universities, Globe reports.
The revolution goes by the name of MOOC, or Massive Open Online Courses, and almost 10 million students have already signed up worldwide. Centered in the United States, it involves educational services that distribute university courses for free over the Internet.
Students can watch any number of top-notch lectures for free, and they are also given homework and tests. They can discuss matters and queries with other students, too.
Furthermore, once a certain level is attained, they will receive a “completion certificate.” Although it is not an officially recognized accreditation, students use the certificate as proof of study when looking for work.
The revolution began two years ago when a prestigious U.S. university began releasing some of its classes into the public domain. The main bodies behind the MOOC boom are two venture companies, Coursera and Udacity, and edX, a not-for-profit institution.