Conventional Online Higher Education Will Absorb MOOCs, 2 Reports Say

Steve Kolowich, Observatoire de Paris, May 16, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I think that the most interesting thing about this headline is that it asserts that there is such a thing as 'conventional online higher education'. Even a few years ago the words would have choked in the Chronicle headline writer's pen. So the two reports are from Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute, which released the Bellwether report, and Teachers College at Columbia University, which released a report cited here the other day. That institutions will simply absorb MOOCs doesn't surprise me - they have very different goals and ambitions from the rest of us. But ask the question differently, and you get a different answer. Will massive open online learning survive? Almost certainly - part of the new reality institutions must now deal with is that free versions of their course materials (or materials very similar to their course materials) will exist online. And institutions won't absorb that. They can't.

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