Article Index

MOOCs and the Future

°      National or regional higher education providers in Europe and beyond are likely to create their own well targeted MOOCs. It would most likely take a team of eight-ten experienced engineers to build such a platform in six months.

°         In November 2012 Coursera and the American Council on Education (ACE) announced a collaboration designed to scrutinize the viability of MOOCs as part of a traditional university curriculum. Also, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving Ithaka S+R, the non-profit research group, $1.4 million to conduct a multi-campus study of MOOCs as an integrated instructional resource at several public universities in Maryland.

°         The extent of longer-term finance impacts on individual universities will vary widely, according to a Moody’s report titled: ‘Shifting Ground: Technology Begins to Alter Centuries-Old Business Model for Universities’. "MOOCs create new revenue opportunities, increase brand recognition, and provide improved operating efficiencies,…" said VP-Senior Analyst Karen Kedem, author of the report.

°         "Most universities will likely gravitate to a 'mixed' model that combines residential learning with the new technology, some will increasingly feature online course delivery, and some colleges may choose to create a niche by remaining focused solely on the traditional residential-classroom experience." Less-selective, smaller colleges that are unable to join emerging networks or carve out an independent niche will likely experience credit stress driven by declining student demand, she adds.

°         A May 2012 article in the Washington Post highlighted the $750 billion - $1 trillion debt in US student loans, which some refer to as the student loan bubble. With the high cost of, and low retention rate in, US higher education, building provisions for an affordable online education may be a good long term strategy.