January 28, 2013

Skorton Talks MOOCs in Forbes

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President David Skorton and Prof. Glenn Altschuler Ph.D. ’76, American studies, think MOOCs — massive open online courses — have the potential to expand education’s reach on the world. They also think that you won’t be moving out of your parents’ house to attend an all-online MOOCs university anytime soon.

The two Cornellians broke down the pros and cons of MOOCs in Forbes Monday. Among the pros:

– Anyone with an Internet connection can take a MOOC for free. – Professors can tweak their classes with MOOCs to better teach their students.- Universities can promote themselves and their faculty to huge audiences              through MOOCs.

Of course, Skorton and Altschuler noted, there remain issues with MOOCs, chief among them being:

– The completion rate for the first MOOC — Stanford’s course on artificial intelligence — was a dismal 13 percent.- Universities do not have a viable business model for MOOCs yet. Producing MOOCs is “complicated, time-consuming and expensive.”- MOOCs do not replicate the experience of living, learning and growing together that universities provide to their students.

“We wonder as well, with our tongues halfway in our cheeks, whether seventeen-year-olds will want to spend four years, or three, or even two living with mom and dad and staring at a computer screen,” Skorton and Altschuler wrote.

Original Author: Akane Otani