Harvard plans to boldly go with ‘Spocs’

Harvard University is moving beyond massive open online courses (MOOCs) to small private online courses (SPOCs). Like MOOCs, SPOCs are offered for free over the Internet, but registration is limited to tens or maybe hundreds of students, rather than the tens of thousands that can enroll in a MOOC. SPOCs have a selection process for applicants and the ability to tailor the course experience. Fees and course credits for SPOCs could emerge in the future. However, Harvard will continue to offer MOOCs, along with SPOCs and traditional classroom-based courses. SPOCs will offer smaller class sizes that will increase student engagement and allow more thorough assessments, as well as the possibility of improved certification.


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