MOOCs are Marketing
Earlier this week, Georgia Tech and eleven other higher education institutions announced their participation in Coursera, a company that hosts online courses. Reactions have been predictably dramatic, as exemplified by Jordan Weissman's panegyric in the Atlantic, titled The Single Most Important Experiment in Higher Education. I'll spare observations on the obvious problems with Weissman's article, like the witless claim that lectures as web video somehow "reinvent" the lecture. Or the fact that Weissman published an article two weeks ago titled Why the Internet Isn't Going to End College As We Know It. Take this excerpt instead: The fundamental challenge for U.S. universities as they struggle to contain their costs is figuring out how to teach more students using fewer resources. This is the biggest and most insidious misconception, the one that pervades every conversation about online education. Here's one: Coursera is marketing.
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