Online enrollment has been growing substantially faster than overall higher education enrollments in the past few years (http://sloanconsortium.org/publications/survey/online_nation; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/12/growth-online-education-moocs_n_3041529.html). Massive Open Online Courses, otherwise known as MOOCs (e.g., coursera, edX, Canvas Network, Iversity, etc.) are becoming more and more common and some universities have even considered ways to incorporate these into their curriculum (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/11/18/more-on-board-with-online-education-trend-of-moocs/1713079/). Some universities are working on ways to modify these into a more ”typical” college education. How will courses such as these influence, modify, or completely change the current state of education?
In this meetup we will explore the expansion and utility of MOOCs and other online platforms for education, including traditional degree seeking education and continuing education courses that many take for leisure. We will address questions such as how can online courses be combined with face-to-face teaching to get the best education overall? For younger students especially, what are the costs and benefits of "flipping" the classroom (assigning the lectures as homework, and doing the exercises and problems in class where students can get assistance), similar to many designs for MBA programs? Will the easier affordability of online education lead to loss of the college experience? After the current experimental period, could much online education remain free and be supported by testing and credentialing of those students who want the credential? Will online education become dominated by a small minority of superstar teachers? If so, how will most teachers make a living?
What are the major online education systems available today, how do they differ, and what have our experiences been with them? We want to take a broad view including not only traditional universities (Coursea, EdX, Open Yale Courses, etc.), but also TED Talks, Kahn Academy, Lynda, University of Phoenix, and others.
I hope to focus in on improving education. How can we leverage courses such as these to improve the quality, availability and access to education? We will also address the various pros and cons of online education. This article highlights some of the many topics that will be discussed http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/12/growth-online-education-moocs_n_3041529.html.