A new report from the Brookings Institute features massive open online courses (MOOCs) as one of five educational technology “success stories,” in large part because of their potential to cut costs of higher education.
“Tuition has risen steeply over the past five decades, and the resulting cuts have negatively impacted students and restricted access by poorer students,” the authors of Education Technology Success Stories wrote. “MOOCs could dramatically decrease the costs for universities and offer courses to students all over the world.”
The savings are derived from instructional productivity because of MOOCs have the potential to reach so many more students. The report suggests that MOOCs could decrease the number of introductory courses and free professors to teach other classes.
In addition to MOOCs, the report lists robot assisted language learning, the independent computer game Minecraft, computerized adaptive testing, and stealth assessments as educational success stories.
“Providing students more opportunities to learn and to demonstrate proficiency will allow for a more meritocratic education system,” the authors wrote. “Assessments don’t have expectations for students. Any student, regardless of background, can use technology to earn accreditation for their learning.”