A cautionary note on MOOC missionaries

William Bowen, the former president of Princeton, is generally a proponent of online education as a potential cost saver.  But in Inside Higher Ed today, there is a profile of Bowen and his views and it includes the following cautionary note:

Bowen… takes the hype about MOOCs with a grain of salt. “Missionaries don’t particularly want their methods tested – they are missionaries after all,” he warned. The missionaries include MOOC providers, the media, administrators and business-minded higher education policymakers, Bowen writes. “There is a real danger that the media frenzy associated with MOOCs will lead some colleges and universities (and especially business-oriented members of their boards) to embrace too tightly the MOOC approach before it is adequately tested and found to be both sustainable and capable of delivering good learning outcomes for all kinds of students…”

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