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ERIC Number: EJ1005094
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb-26
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1938-5978
Can MOOCs Work with Liberal Arts?
Shennan, Andrew
New England Journal of Higher Education, Feb 2013
During any given semester at a liberal arts college like Wellesley, students may experience what will prove to be a transformational moment in their lives. This is the reality of the liberal arts college environment: meaningful encounters with peers from very different backgrounds; small, discussion-based courses that foster creative, cross-disciplinary thinking; close relationships with professors and fellow students; and the daily challenge of understanding, synthesizing and thinking critically. In today's complex, increasingly global and rapidly changing world, such an education is more valuable than ever. Yet historically, higher education has remained accessible to very few--at Wellesley, just 2,300 students each year. Recently, the massive open online course (MOOC) movement has offered a promising solution to this problem of limited access. The question that educators are grappling with is: How do they infuse the massive open online space with a responsive, collaborative and discussion-based learning experience--the kind of education that is truly transformative? While the answer remains unclear, what they do know is that it will take not only technological advances, but pedagogical innovation, bold ideas, experimentation and vision to translate the sometimes intangible components of on-campus learning to the online landscape. It's going to take a liberal arts approach, which entails creative synthesis of knowledge and data from a breadth of disciplines.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts