It wasn’t so long ago that the excitement surrounding online education reached fever pitch, MIT Technology Review reports. Various researchers offering free online versions of their university classes found they could attract vast audiences of high quality students from all over the world.

The obvious next step was to offer far more of these online classes.

That started a rapid trend and various organisations sprung up to offer online versions of university-level  courses that anyone with an internet connection could sign up for. The highest profile of these are organisations such as Coursera, Udacity and edX.

But this new...

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