“The End of the University as We Know It” read the headlines when more massive open online learning platforms started surfacing. But Jonathan Haber didn’t buy it, BostInno reports.
“We were getting to the peak of inflated expectations,” Haber said, referring to all the hype. “MOOCs will transform colleges as we know it, blah, blah, blah. I had just had a good experience in a MOOC, but it wasn’t that good.”
Haber, a writer and entrepreneur, had enrolled in Duke University’s 12-week course “How to Reason and Argue” on Coursera. The curriculum seemed to mirror the kind of education he would have received in the 1980s at his alma mater, Wesleyan University. Before he added his voice to the media frenzy and started singing the praises of open, online learning, however, Haber knew he needed to complete more than one course.
“Everyone else who was writing about the subject or creating policy, they had even less experience than I had,” Haber said, noting a majority of the teachers, legislators and entrepreneurs speaking to online learning had never even enrolled in an online course.
Not only were people giving credit to this unproven entity, they were claiming it could destroy education — a system that’s managed to thrive for centuries, despite the skyrocketing costs of tuition. Could online education replace the legacy learning model?