Your first degree course is a MOOC

Alastair Creelman, In Our Time: Science, Mar 08, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

reports: "MOOC2degreeis a new initiative that offers the first course of a degree program as a MOOC in the hope of recruiting students on to the full program. A consortium of seven US universities under the coordination of Academic Partnerships are already on board and intend to use MOOCs as a shop window for their regular programs." It's a bit like a loss leader - get them to do a few courses for free, earn some credits, and then have them sign up to pay full tuition for the rest of the program. "This is very mainstream and is simply a way of recruiting to regular university degree programs," says Creelman. But the main problem I can see is that it is offloading the university's most lucrative courses - high-enrollment first-year 'weeder' courses taught by teaching assistants or adjuncts - and retaining the high-cost low-return upper level courses taught by full professors to small classes. I'm not sure how that's a plan.

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