Doubts About MOOCs Continue to Rise, Survey Finds (CHE)

January 15, 2014

By Steve Kolowich

Academic leaders increasingly think that massive open online courses are not sustainable for the institutions that offer them and will “cause confusion about higher-education degrees,” according to the results of an annual survey.

The Babson Survey Research Group has charted the growth of online education annually for more than a decade with support from the Sloan Consortium and other partners. The latest survey, conducted last year, asked chief academic officers at 2,831 colleges and universities about online education.

The findings, released in a report on Wednesday, reveal a growing skepticism among academic leaders about the promise of MOOCs. The report also suggests that conventional, tuition-based online education is still growing, although not as swiftly as in past years.

The article ends with a conclusion that rings true to our experience:

Additionally, a larger proportion of academic leaders now believe that students need more self-discipline to succeed in online courses than in conventional classes—although the Babson group’s data indicate that officials at institutions that actually offer online courses have long understood this.

About Ryan C. Fowler

Ryan is a curricular fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C. He also teaches at Franklin and Marshall College and Lancaster Theological Seminary.
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