The Chronicle of Higher Education
December 8th, 2014
This fall I attended a conference
at Rice University where Anant Agarwal, chief executive of EdX, and
Daphne Koller, president of Coursera, spoke on "teaching in the
university of tomorrow." They highlighted the potential of online
courses to expand access to higher education to people who have
traditionally been excluded from its purview.
Both ended their talks by spotlighting specific cases of people whose
life situations made a college degree difficult or unlikely for them.
Yet they had started their trajectory in higher education as MOOC
students and then gradually worked their way to more traditional
universities and to career success. The obvious implication: Online
courses cracked open a previously closed door for those students.