Coursera makes online classes available to more colleges

Professors at 10 more large university systems can access MOOC courses for use in their classes.

Coursera, which is one of the big providers of what are called Massive Open Online Courses, is expanding its reach.

The Wall Street Journal reports Web Courses Woo Professors.

Profs at those 10 systems can bring the courses into their classes. This could be used in what’s called “flipping” the classroom – watch the lecture outside class and then use class time to discuss the material.

The scope of this change:

The contracts broaden Coursera’s audience, currently 3.68 million people, by giving it access to more than 1.25 million students enrolled in the combined university systems. 

The article addresses the downside of on-line classes

Still, many critics within academia remain concerned that MOOCs will eventually limit live lectures to the wealthiest schools. Meanwhile, faculty at cash-strapped public or midtier colleges might be displaced by low-paid staff who lead discussions after students have watched lectures from other schools’ star professors online.

Regardless of the impact, there is a revolution in higher ed. I call it the open frontier. Disruption is another term:

“Higher education is being disrupted just like the steel industry or the newspaper industry,” said Ray Schroeder, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at the University of Illinois Springfield. “From that shakeout, a lot of people will become unemployed.”

The frontier in education is wide open.

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