Online Education Is Replacing Physical Colleges
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Educators knew the online revolution would eventually envelop the physical classroom, but a torrent of near-revolutionary developments in the past month are proving that change is coming quicker than anyone imagined. In just 30 days, the largest school system in the U.S. began offering credit for online courses, a major university began awarding degrees without any class time required, and scores of public universities are moving their courses online. The point at which online higher education becomes mainstream is no longer in some fuzzy hypothetical future; the next president’s Secretary of Education will need an entire department dedicated to the massive transition.

For over a decade, admissions-selective universities (e.g. not the University of Phoenix) resisted giving credit for their overwhelmingly popular online courses. Established with just 50 free online courses as a proof-of-concept, MIT’s groundbreaking Open CourseWare project quickly expanded to 1,700 courses through a worldwide consortium of universities in just three years [PDF]. To date, MIT’s Open Courseware has a staggering 125 million lifetime visitors. Online education startup Coursera, which added interactive video, homework, and peer learning communities to courses from top-tier universities, has amassed more than 2.5 million users in only nine months since its debut in April 2012…

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Top universities join free online teaching platform

Coursera set to shake up higher education model after adding 12 US and European institutions including Edinburgh University …

Twelve leading universities in the US and Europe have joined an internetplatform created by two Stanford University scientists which provides free online access to classes designed by academics at elite institutions.

The move, announced on Tuesday, marks a significant expansion of online university teaching. Observers say it heralds a shakeup of the classic lecture theatre model.

The new participants in Coursera, which combines online lectures with assignments to be submitted, include the California Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, and University of California, San Francisco in the US, as well as Edinburgh University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne…

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