By Louis Hyman. If, as the New York Times claimed, 2012 was the Year of the MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), then 2013 was the Year of Pushback Against the MOOC. The point versus counterpoint played out according to a predictable script. First right-wing entrepreneurs, who see American universities as a nest of inefficient yet arrogant tenured radicals, proclaimed that higher education was a "bubble." Traditional universities, they announced, would be rendered extinct by the MOOC-as-category-killer, which could deliver a free product to consumers around the world. Academics fired back, insisting that taped lectures, multiple-choice questions graded by algorithm, and troll-filled discussion threads were no substitute for actual human beings. As results from the road-testing of MOOCs started to trickle in over the second half of 2013, the critics proclaimed victory. Typically, less than ten percent of students who initially signed up for such "courses" completed them. More...