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MOOCs: Why They Fail & How We Can Save Them

MOOCs, or massive online open courses, are one of the hottest topics in edtech today. Love them or hate them, they are a buzzword that can't be ignored. Theoretically, MOOCs should democratize education by universally providing courses taught by experts without any tuition costs.

Companies like Coursera & Udacity and non-profits like EdX have been growing in popularity and institutions like Harvard, MIT, UChicago and the State University of New York are partnering with MOOC providers.

But are MOOCs worth the hype? In their current form, drop-out rates often exceed 90%, and failure rates based on final exams are high. Moreover, many MOOC providers are struggling to monetize. What is the future of MOOCs? How can they be saved, if at all?

Additional Supporting Materials

Learning Objectives

  1. What types of results are we seeing from MOOCs? Why are they often unable to deliver on some of their promises?
  2. If MOOCs are effectively incorporated into higher education, will they just be co-opted into the existing curriculum and become part of the organizational inertia? What relationship do they have with in-person learning, blended learning? How can MOOCs work with the existing infrastructure to enact change?
  3. Many for-profit MOOC providers have yet to figure out a sustainable business model. What are ways they can effectively monetize? Can they work with existing public universities and school systems that are already strapped for cash?



Andrew D'Souza, Chief Operating Officer, Top Hat

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