Even as massive open online courses (MOOCs) continue to assume an increasingly prominent role in education, regularly enrolling thousands of students from around the world in classes taught by professors from dozens of universities, their rapid growth has sparked a backlash focused on the potential loss of diversity and interaction in education, The Stanford Daily reports. In one such instance, the San Jose State University Department of Philosophy wrote an open letter in April to Harvard professor Michael Sandel, explaining their refusal to offer his edX course, Justice, as a part of their curriculum. “The thought of the exact same social justice course being taught in various philosophy departments across the country is downright scary—something out of a dystopian novel,” the letter read. “Departments across the country possess unique specialization and character, and should stay that way…Diversity in schools of thought and plurality of points of view are at the heart of liberal education.” That same month, the faculty of Amherst College voted against joining edX, a nonprofit founded by Harvard and MIT that has since merged with Stanford’s Class2Go platform, saying that doing so would run counter to its mission to be a “purposefully small residential community.”

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