While it’s not particularly earthshattering news, separate reports from the Teachers College at Columbia University and Bellwether Education have concluded that massive open online courses (MOOCs) are not going to be as disruptive as first predicted. They’re not going to disappear either.
Both studies concluded MOOCs will ultimately be incorporated into online education efforts by colleges and universities.
“It seems clear that MOOCs are neither the cataclysmic disrupter that advocates predicted nor the flash in the pan their critics were hoping for,” wrote Andrew P. Kelly, director for the Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute and author of the Bellwether report.
The 211-page Columbia study also found no indication that colleges will see a return on investment in the free online courses. However, the report predicted MOOCs will eventually become more like current online courses, available to students willing to pay for them.
“MOOCs have inspired a lot of thought, but people are not necessarily deciding what their goals are in advance, then using MOOCs to address those goals,” Fiona Hollands, co-author of the Columbia report, told Bloomberg. “They’re spending an awful lot of money and not necessarily knowing whether it’s effective.”