MOOCs Can Be Hard, Too

So a bunch of people failed a MOOC:

The problem: More than half the students in the first batch of online courses failed their final exams.

Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun, a machine-learning legend at Stanford and Google, told the AP that the failure rates in the five classes ranged from 56 to 76 percent. Nor was the course material exactly rocket science—the five classes were in elementary statistics, college algebra, entry-level math, introduction to programming, and introduction to psychology.

Pretend you’re hiring a college grad who passed these courses: is this a feature or a bug?

Link via Mathbabe who notes one of the disadvantages these courses have over traditional education: they strip away the networking inherent in much of higher education in the US today.

Of course colleges are a bundle of services. The great experiment, I think, is to see what kind of success you might be able to get a la carte. College isn’t the only place to make connections and friends who do you good turns in life.

But to get the things colleges are the only places to go for, you have to pick those up as part of the package.

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