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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Technology and Education in 2013

The spectacular growth of massive open online courses (MOOCs) turned higher education on its head in 2012, according to Chris Proulx, president and CEO of eCornell. MOOCs allowed students to learn from top universities and at their own pace, and got discussions started about for-credit curriculum.

That was 2012, so Proulx looked ahead to 2013 in a predictive blog post for Forbes.

He projected the growth of MOOCs to continue in 2013, particularly at top-tier schools, while the availability of online courses at selective schools will increase. He also anticipated that universities will find even more ways to use the “flipped classroom” model, where students use class time to enhance prerecorded lectures.

While MOOCs are growing, there are still questions to be answered about the programs, such as the cost to sustain the courses and finding ways to make credit for the courses available to students. Proulx predicted a hybrid model that has both online and in-person components will be embraced this year, as will peer-to-peer and peer-to-faculty instruction. He even forecast that the cost of education will decrease—just not in 2013.

“As institutions experiment with the pedagogical formula of what content is delivered online, how peer-to-faculty interact in both the online and ‘flipped-classroom’ environments, and faculty explore new models of assessment, some institutions could potentially find educational models that begin to bend the cost curve,” Proulx wrote. “The first step is to continue to nurture faculty across the country to embrace online teaching, and from there we just may see a shift in the business of education.”

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