Why MOOCs Aren’t for College Credit and Shouldn’t Be

Number 1 reason: the business world is made up of perhaps hundreds of millions of human interactions that take place on a daily basis. If college study doesn’t give students regular opportunities for human interaction, college study will not prepare graduates for the workforce.

And now we have empirical research supporting what we should have known without it. According to the recent Gallup-Purdue Research Report as reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education,

College graduates, whether they went to a hoity-toity private college or a midtier public, had double the chances of being engaged in their work and were three times as likely to be thriving in their well-being if they connected with a professor on the campus who stimulated them, cared about them, and encouraged their hopes and dreams.

Machines can only train people to be machines. Human interaction matters. People who argue otherwise are primarily concerned with saving the money of the wealthy interests that they represent, not concerned with giving our students the education that they actually need.

Published by James Rovira

Dr. James Rovira is higher education professional with twenty years experience in the field in teaching, administration, and advising roles. He is also an interdisciplinary scholar and writer whose works include fiction, poetry, and scholarship exploring the intersections of literature and philosophy, literature and psychology, literary theory, and music and literature.. His books include Women in Rock, Women in Romanticism (Routledge, 2023); David Bowie and Romanticism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022); Writing for College and Beyond (a first-year composition textbook (Lulu 2019)); Reading as Democracy in Crisis: Interpretation, Theory, History (Lexington Books 2019); Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 (Lexington Books, 2018); Rock and Romanticism: Post-Punk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); and Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety (Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2010). See his website at jamesrovira.com for details.

5 thoughts on “Why MOOCs Aren’t for College Credit and Shouldn’t Be

  1. 1000 students is massive, Mgozaydin. And thanks for replying. I have a follow up post to this one, and in it I say this:

    “It may be that some math and computer science courses for some student populations may be able to use MOOCs for college credit, but I would like to see research measuring learning outcomes and assessments in these courses first. Generally, they will only work well for higher performing students, I suspect, as remedial, and even many average students, need in-person guidance.”

    If you’re talking about MIT students, you’re talking some of the best students in the country, and I suspected that some math-based courses may work well in this environment. So what you describe meets my conditions for at least a potentially effective MOOC that could be offered for college credit. To me, it’s a matter of assessments, and a matter of how well students really learn.


  2. EDX courses nede not be massive at all .
    Only 1,000 students per semester globally is more than enough.
    Ton finance charge only $ 100 per course .
    Then in 10 semesters or 5 years
    one collects
    10 semesters x 1,000 students x $ 100 = $ 1 MILLION

    That is more than enough to finance the whole course for 5 years .


  3. I do not comment regarding MOOCs.
    I DO COMMENT for only EDX .
    EDX can be for 18-22 years olds foer degree asap .
    That is what USA needs.
    Even today MIT students paying $ 50,000 annually do not go to 8 am classes ( They do not want to get up early in the morning ) and get their course from EDX online . Then get their exams from f2f instructor. They get better degrees than f2fr students. In fact in Electronics Circuits class 150 follow the course online ( They are smart to say online is better than f2f since they get better grades ) and only 50 is f2f .
    One should not make a judgement for MOOCs altogether .
    EDX is different . They provide real university courses same as oncampus courses that is the value .

    I strongly suggest EDX to provide degrees as soon as possible .
    Even see my blog http://www.digital-university.blogspot.com

    and get courses from edx and a degree from my university .


  4. MOOCs need not be automated, and they can be based on a great deal of human interaction. The MOOC I teach uses weekly live interactive webcasts, office hours, in-person meet-ups, robust social media discussions, etc.


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