- The Georgia Institute of Technology announced a lower priced, online alternative to its master's degree in computer science in 2013, and with its first crop of 20 graduates and consistent flow of 1,300 applicants per term, it may be time for a program review.
- The Wall Street Journal reports Georgia Tech's MOOC-inspired online program is somewhat of a hybrid between free and open MOOCs and traditional online degrees, enrolling 2,789 students this semester and on track to be profitable by May.
- Students are moving through the coursework more slowly than expected, however, and the approximately $7,000 price tag seems to be low enough to attract students who are not as motivated to actually complete their degree.
The idea for massive open online courses was to be as large as possible and free, broadening educational opportunity to everyone with a computer and an internet connection.
Schools have since reined in; focusing on achieving greater success with more targeted groups of students. "Small private online courses" have sprung up for groups like alumni. Arizona State University's Global Freshman Academy has gone in another direction: offering traditional MOOCs but giving students the opportunity to pay for credit once they've passed the course. At MIT, a new MicroMaster's offers students who succeed in a MOOC a credential after just one semester on campus.
Though the concept has evolved, expanding opportunity online is still the goal of a great many traditional higher education institutions.