NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ990507
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct-1
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
How the Embrace of MOOC's Could Hurt Middle America
Graham, Greg
Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct 2012
Sebastian Thrun gave up tenure at Stanford University after 160,000 students signed up for his free online version of the course "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence." The experience completely changed his perspective on education, he said, so he ditched teaching at Stanford and launched the private Web site Udacity, which offers online courses. He saw those phenomenal numbers signing up for his class, and it made him dizzy with delight. Anybody with a Twitter account or Facebook page can understand the feeling. The number of followers or friends can be a source of affirmation, proof that what one has to say is important. The great majority of students will never take Thrun's course because, frankly, it would be over their heads. In this article, the author discusses his concern for students and the trickle-down effect that the furor over MOOCs (massive open online courses) will have on their education. Although they are not the demographic that Thrun is targeting, students like them, who are average or struggling, are the ones who will suffer if this trend continues to grow. Ironically, although the move toward online education is being advanced by some of the nation's most elite universities, in the end it will be the lower half of the student population that will be forced out of the traditional classroom, widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California