Steve Kolowich recently wrote an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education discussing the declining interest and appeal for MOOCs (Massive open online courses) in California.
There are many reasons as to why this is occurring to MOOCs, a once promising solution for the accessibility and democratization of higher education that garnered an immense amount of attention and publicity.
Much of it has to do with the actual numbers and results that have shown up publicly. Those numbers show some underwhelming results and rather low success and retention rates.
Another reason has to do with the fact that many universities who allowed students to gain academic credit by completing MOOCs are now starting to implement their own internal online courses and find no reason to utilize MOOCs anymore.
But despite these rather unfavorable outcomes, MOOC providers, such as Coursera, edX, and Udacity, have firmly continued to grow and expand their service by offering new courses and attracting new collaborators and investors. In addition to expansion, there has also been talk about these companies positioning themselves to provide more “conventional” online services.
In the same realm as Blackboard and Instructure, MOOC providers hope to provide the same online-support services and technology solutions to universities as what Blackboard and Instructure have done for years now. Though ambitious, this could be problematic and very challenging for these incoming companies who want to step into an area that has been already dominated by major providers, such as Blackboard and Instructure.
Overall, this is a very interesting time for Coursera, edX, and Udacity. Though not seemingly promising, we are curious to see what the future holds for MOOC providers and whether or not MOOCs in general will be as successful as what was envisioned.
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