http://harvardmagazine.com/sites/all/themes/hm/logo.pngAs edX , Coursera, and Udacity continue to build and launch massive open online courses (MOOCs)—and other would-be contenders approach the field—evidence and opinions are accumulating about how best to use such courses, the experience of learning this way, and possible applications of the evolving technology. Herewith, a survey of some recent perspectives, and some news updates on the users of an early HarvardX course and Coursera’s expansion into professional education.
Where the Learners Are

MOOCs have been touted as opening avenues to education for huge audiences in developing countries, but a pressing U.S. application lies in providing remedial or entry-level required classes for students at community colleges and financially hard-pressed public colleges and universities. Following an experiment in which San Jose State University (SJSU) blended edX’s course on electronic circuits with its classroom teaching, enhancing student learning, the institution has extended that experiment to 11 California campuses and agreed with edX to adapt courses in sciences, humanities, business, and social sciences. Read more...