[caption id="attachment_55849" align="alignleft" width="150"] Grant applicants could be awarded up to $25,000.[/caption]

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent millions of dollars helping to bolster non-profit massive open online course (MOOC) providers like Khan Academy and edX. Now, they’re putting $400,000 toward the much-hyped technology in an effort to answer the question: are MOOCs actually effective?

Called the MOOC Research Initiative, the project aims to address what the foundation refers to as a “research gap” by examining MOOCs and the impact they have on teachers, students and education in general.

“To date, the impact...

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