Yes, I agree, not the most elegant of acronyms but it is worth reading an article on 'MOOCs' by Edward Tenner at The American. And, no, I hadn't heard of MOOCs until I read this piece, it stands for Massive Open Online Courses and is a means by which you may obtain a university education without actually having to attend the wretched place! It began with a rush of enthusiasm by both teachers and students not least, I suppose, because the courses were either free or low-cost. That, perhaps, was their first mistake because unless someone is prepared to 'put their money where their mouth is' from the beginning they probably lack the necessary staying power required. Even so, it has not been a total failure:
Professor Thrun’s program, without screening or prerequisites, did well indeed:
it yielded fully 7,500 successful students. That’s more than twelve years’
enrollment in Stanford’s most popular on-campus computer science course, CS106a. Judging from comments by MOOC students, it appears that many register to sample a number of courses and complete only the minority that interest them strongly enough. That’s a feature, not a bug, of the genre; dropping courses can be a costly ritual in conventional universities. Besides, low yields are part of elite education: Stanford accepted only 6.6 percent of applicants in 2012.
I can't help thinking that with the sort of eye-watering amounts of money required by students to attend universities for the doubtful privilege of losing their virginity and learning how (not) to drink beer (I base this comment on 'SoD's experience!) then this new age of electronic communication must offer some alternatives.
Must rush, I have to take the 'Memsahib' to hospital for a 10,000 mile oil change, or some such, so back this afternoon.