Coursera, the massive open online course (MOOC) company with roots at Stanford University, had already snagged my undergraduate alma mater, the University of Virgina. And Duke, just down the road, is also on its list. Yesterday the Chapel Hill News reported that UNC-CH – my grad school alma mater and a place still on one of my morning learning walk routes – has come on board.
I’ve been writing about MOOCs since at least 2008 and I discuss them in Leading the Learning Revolution – including an interview with MOOC pioneer George Siemens as part of that process – but I am still amazed to see the degree to which the concept has taken off. As universities fall all over each other to demonstrate that they are capable of embracing a new model you have to wonder if they fully appreciate the degree to which they are altering expectations about access to education and, ultimately, the role that degrees play in the market for education. We’ll seeing the answer to that question unravel for some time to come.
In any case, it feels like the Revolution is hitting home.