Limited Public Awareness of MOOCs

In a recent article written by Sara Grossman for The Chronicle of Higher Education, a survey was conducted of 1,042 participants showing that around 74% of people were unfamiliar with massive open online courses (MOOCs). On the other side, only 22% stated they were familiar and 4% said they were very familiar with the online courses.

Though MOOCs potentially can be beneficial for higher education, potentially making the learning and education experience more affordable, accessible, and available, others have viewed it to be less appealing because many seek the “traditional college experience” that includes the grand lecture halls and face-to-face interaction with peers and instructors.

Many current college students, and soon-to-be college students, view that physically going to a college and participating in a classroom with other students and instructors is far more worthwhile and valuable than sitting at home and learning from a computer screen. The “authentic college experience” argument seems to tip the scale in favor of traditional, offline higher education.

Greg Schneider, a founding partner of Prime Group, the consulting firm who conducted the survey, stated that MOOCs will not replace traditional higher education. He also states that MOOCs will simply provide a new alternative or avenue for others to learn and access courses in higher education.

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