MOOCs Are Reaching Only Privileged Learners, Survey Finds

Steve Kolowich, Observatoire de Paris, Nov 20, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

OK, you see the headline above. But read the story and see this: "The paper is based on a survey of 34,779 students worldwide who took 24 courses offered by Penn professors on the Coursera platform." Goodness gracious, the word "MOOCs" does not mean the same thing as "courses offered by Penn professors on the Coursera platform." The Chronicle can be so infuriating at times. Coursera very deliberately targeted an upmarket customer profile, so no wonder that's who they got (this is not an exception, Ng notwithstanding). I would like to think that som other open online learning initiatives are reaching a much wider demographic. Certainly that's what I aspire toward.

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