Sarah King Head. A new report by Moody’s Investors Service suggests that while MOOCs’ exploitation of expanded collaborative networks and technological innovation will benefit higher education in the United States as a whole, their long-term effect on the for-profit sector and smaller not-for-profit institutions could be damaging.
MOOCs – massive open online courses – have garnered considerable attention since Stanford University’s artificial intelligence course in the autumn 2011 semester attracted nearly 160,000 students. While the course’s completion rate was low (15.6%), the scale of the response excited many in the higher education community – from institutions to venture capital companies.
Indeed, the report notes that MOOCs represent a “pivotal development” in the evolution of higher education and have the potential to revolutionise the way a centuries-old industry has operated.