There's been a lot written about massive open online courses (MOOCs), but what do college students think? A survey of undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found they appreciate the potential of MOOCs, but have concerns about reliability and quality.
The study, What do current college studentsthink about MOOCs, asked participants eight open-ended questions on their perceptions and attitudes toward MOOCs compared with press coverage of the courses.
“Students currently enrolled in MOOCs constitute a population of early adopters of a new technology,” the authors of the report wrote. “For MOOCs to be widely accepted as effective means of education, MOOCs must achieve a critical mass of users to either align with, or overcome, prevalent existing students’ attitudes toward higher education.”
The survey found that 81% of the responding students said they had concerns over the reliability of MOOCs and 52% worried about the content used. While 58% held positive views of MOOC accessibility, 49% had concerns about a lack of guidance from instructors and 40% were troubled by a lack of communication options with the instructors teaching the MOOC.
Researchers concluded that many students feel the information presented through MOOCs is not of the same quality as that in a traditional college course. The students also felt feedback from instructors was too slow. Another significant issue was the fact that MOOCs don’t always offer college credit.