Online courses cut costs, expand options

Tim Goral's picture
Monday, December 16, 2013

The University of Michigan's 2013 Alumni Newsletter features a piece, "MOOCs, Me, and Michigan," by English professor Eric Rabkin. The evidence in it for MOOC (massive, open, online course) instruction is powerful in terms of reducing college costs while at the same time improving the quality of education. It is a godsend for low-income students.

Rabkin writes, "Course co-founder Daphne Koller reported that ... when an issue is raised on a (MOOC) forum, the mean time to someone else on the forum contributing a useful response is 22 minutes. That's 22 minutes around the clock, because the course community is global. No professor could ever be that responsive."

"Harvard Business School," Rabkin continues, "has stopped teaching statistics; instead, it requires its students to take an online statistics course from Brigham Young University, a course HBS believes is better than any HBS was offering."

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