On MOOC – its impact on professors and higher education

I am intrigued with the post here on Stanford’s Online Strategy.

But the advent of a new generation of integrated, interactive online learning platforms could also help resolve the biggest crisis facing higher education–the cost of a college degree–possibly by reducing the number of faculty needed. “Higher education is ridiculously expensive,” says Prober, “and rising faster than any other sector of the economy–including healthcare. The most expensive cost in higher education is the professoriate. Having the rich faculties we have in thousands of colleges across the United States is probably not sustainable. So being able to bend that curve becomes very important, and this is one methodology for doing that. Once you’ve got the videos, you don’t have to create them every year. You have to tweak them and update, but that’s relatively easy.”

If the professors constitute the most expensive cost in higher education, what would be the most effective way of cutting cost?  Naturally, this means that having rich faculties of professors would not be sustainable.  Would this be the case in other higher institutions of developed countries too?

If you were the professors in Higher Education Institutions, what do you think would be the impact of MOOCs on your work?

In this post p3

According to Bernd Girod, a professor of electrical engineering and the new senior associate dean for the School of Engineering, Stanford sees MOOCs primarily “as a showcase and a laboratory for online learning methods,” adding that “they will never replace the incredibly vibrant campus experience Stanford provides.”

May be people haven’t yet sense the real and significant impact of MOOC coming into its full swing on learning experience as yet.   I think MOOC would likely replace a lot of campus experience,  especially when more and more MOOCs are introduced, leading to a shift towards online interactive learning in various disciplines.

The online interactive model has transformed the course from a class that most students rated negatively to one that most actually like. The majority of students now avoid the old-style classroom lectures–only 20 to 30 percent attend–but virtually all beginning biochemistry students are attending the optional interactive sessions.

Does it mean that old style classroom lectures would soon become history?  This seems to be a trend across higher education institutions.  Sebastian Thrun also mentioned about the significant number of his AI students who preferred to attend the online session to the class lectures.

Do you think this would replace a lot of face-to-face classroom lectures soon?  Why/Why not?

3 thoughts on “On MOOC – its impact on professors and higher education

  1. Well, to (sort of) answer your final question, I don’t believe that the MOOC SHOULD replace the face-to-face experience. I’ve recently written in my own blog about the vital importance of shared physical spaces in higher ed. I argue that experiencing education with other people is as important as the “content” of education.

    I don’t deny that there are good economic reasons for the implementation of the MOOC on some level, but as a complete replacement for tradition teacher/student interaction? That, to me, is a disaster. If you’re interested, here’s the link to my piece:


    Thanks for the post. It was really informative and this is an important conversation that needs to be had.

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