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November 26, 2012

MOOCs could be revolutionary for education, or not

  • Internet-based courses offered by elite universities through Coursera, edX and others, are wildly popular, with some attracting hundreds of thousands of students.
    AP Education Writer

    In 15 years of teaching, University of Pennsylvania classicist Peter Struck has guided perhaps a few hundred students annually in his classes on Greek and Roman mythology through the works of Homer, Sophocles, Aeschylus and others — “the oldest strands of our cultural DNA.”

    But if you gathered all of those tuition-paying, in-person students together, the group would pale in size compared with the 54,000 from around the world who, this fall alone, are taking his class online for free — a “Massive Open Online Course,” or MOOC, offered through a company called Coursera.

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