Sunday, March 29, 2015
Tens of thousands take first ‘massive open online course’ offered in Western New York - City & Region - The Buffalo News
The most popular college course in the region this semester cost nothing to take, had no set meeting times and did not require students to step inside a classroom.
Nearly 41,000 people – more than the undergraduate and graduate enrollment at the University at Buffalo, the area’s largest school – signed up for the course, called “Ignite Your Everyday Creativity.” Developed at SUNY Buffalo State, it was the first massive open online course, or MOOC, to come from Western New York. The course ended Sunday.
And most of the students live nowhere near the Buffalo State campus. They’re in just about every state and 185 countries.
A few years ago, MOOCs received as much hype as the iPhone debut. Some proponents predicted MOOCs – which are free but don’t count for college credit – would revolutionize higher education, chopping away at spiraling costs and making many campuses obsolete.
The hype died down after a 2013 University of Pennsylvania study found that few students completed MOOCs, souring some educators on their potential.
But the free online courses continue to proliferate. Buffalo State is among more than 100 colleges and universities, including elite schools like Yale, Columbia and Duke, that are partnering with Coursera, one of several technology companies and nonprofit organizations that provide platforms for online courses.
MOOCs are just a small part of a tidal wave of change in store for higher education, said Carey Hatch, associate provost at SUNY, who oversees SUNY’s online initiatives. (Entire article available via the Buffalo News website.)