Radio Times

The Ivy League for all: Free online courses

July 26, 2012


(AP file photo)

Hour 2

A number of major universities are now offering online courses for free – they’re called MOOCs, for Massive Open Online Courses – and many people believe they’ll change higher education. The online education venture Coursera, which was started by two Stanford computer science professors, recently announced that it’s partnering with 16 top schools — including the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Caltech and Duke — to bring physics, history, poetry, and computer-science classes to the masses.  And they’re not the only effort in this vein: similar models include edX, a partnership between MIT and Harvard; and Udacity. So far, these education companies don’t award degrees for these free classes, but will that change? And what does it say about the future of higher education and traditional brick-and-mortar colleges and classroom learning?  This hour, guest host Tracey Matisak looks at the pros and cons of online higher ed with ANDREW NG, cofounder of Coursera and a professor of computer science at Stanford; JEFFREY YOUNG, technology editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education; and SIVA VAIDHYANATHAN, director of Media Studies at the University of Virginia.

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