Why Online Education Won't Replace College—Yet

David Youngberg, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Aug 13, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Without further ado, here are the reasons, according to the Chronicle's David Youngberg:

  • it's too easy to cheat
  • star students can't shine
  • employers avoid weird people (he writes: "Getting an unconventional degree suggests you're probably one of the usurpers who are more trouble than they are worth. MOOCs are the nose rings of higher education.")
  • computers can't grade everything
  • money can't substitute for ability

Youngberg writes, "If only one or two of these issues existed, the days of higher education as we know it would be numbered." In fact, none of these are genuine issues, as they are rooted in perception rather than any fact. If you get past a vision of the world where students compete with each other through grades then you see a world in which a MOOC is normal and acceptable, as students participate in online projectys that reflect their true abilities, creating portfolios than can be judged with much more fine-graded nuance than opaque grading systems.

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