- In an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education ("For Whom Is College Being Reinvented?"), Scott Carlson and Goldie Blumenstyk argue that massive open online courses (MOOCs) best serve students who can learn on their own, rather than those who are struggling in school.
- While MOOCs are rising to prominence as a result of their open approach to content delivery, some education experts, such as Patricia McGuire, President of Trinity Washington University, maintain MOOCs are not solving the problem of having students "actually learn the content and do something with it."
- In an article for The Atlantic ("Who Are MOOCs Most Likely to Help?"), Edward Tenner argues that MOOCs may actually reinforce educational disparity, rather than disrupt it — a policy shift towards online learning will chiefly benefit already-productive students while struggling students will still need an in-person education customizable to their subjective interests, abilities and learning difficulties.
From the article:
"If you've become a true believer in the power of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and other 'disruptive' web-based programs to break the cost spiral of higher education, you should read the excellent analysis by two writers of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Scott Carlson and Goldie Blumenstyk, 'For Whom Is College Being Reinvented?' They're not against MOOCs, certificates, and other alternatives to conventional schools for students with solid secondary backgrounds. But they make the excellent point that these appeal most to the families that need them least and are best able to sort out the high-quality programs from the dubious ones. ..."