MOOC College Degrees?

Udacity Will Offer Masters Degrees in CS From Georgia Tech (allthingsd.com)

In yet another groundbreaking online education deal (between Udacity and Coursera, there are at least two per week!), Udacity will now offer masters degrees in computer science via a partnership between Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing and AT&T. These MOOC degrees will cost less than $7,000 and be labeled separately as an “Online Master of Science” degree.

I took a couple of on-line courses at Coursera and UT Texas Knight Center. I like the idea of on-line education, especially for continuing education. It offers a great opportunity to learn famous college courses from the comfort of your own place. Some of the courses I took are great; however, some are not. Even if they are offered by the most famous universities in the US, do not assume them to be great quality. Similar to sit-in classes, they depend on the quality of both teachers and students. An instructor of one of my courses simply read through slides without explaining the concept he was teaching. As to students, because a MOOC class typically has 5,000 to 100,000 students, teachers have to rely on “peer review” or “community tutors” for the grading and group discussions. Students often did not follow or understand course materials, make wrong conclusions, and praise each others’ work without knowing what was expected. The student part is the greatest drawback of the MOOC courses, compared to normal campus classes. A successful MOOC course, in addition to having a great instructor, should provide structured assignments with clear grading guidelines.

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