As we enter into the early phases of MOOCs, we are now starting to see some early trends, particularly as more institutions start to jump on board. Speaking of which, it’s interesting to note that only 10% of schools do not plan to offer any type of online course – which means the groundwork is there for MOOCs to gain some traction in years to come.
Interestingly though, 44% of schools don’t have any plans to offer MOOCs. I think this is because most are waiting on the sidelines to see how everything plays out. Not a bad strategy, but in some cases they may be playing catch-up should the concept really begin to take off.
For the time being, I can see how MOOCs will primarily be used as a supplement to formal education – a perspective supported by the fact that 67% of people believe that MOOCs will never replace the traditional, residential classroom (according to the Enterasys inforgraphic). This makes sense though, especially the amount of money at stake in the higher education classrooms. The reason that MOOCs are popular to begin with is because prestigious institutions are offering courses. What makes these institutions desirable are their “brands”, partially obtained through the quality of professor they employ. Naturally, if institutions like Princeton offered free education to all, they wouldn’t be able to entice these professors.
Time will tell what MOOCs become. I still think that they need a viable revenue model before they really take off – the original investors of Coursera are expecting a return on their money eventually. Still, it’s fascinating to see this industry develop!