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Usually, participants of a MOOC can be learners who are enrolled at a particular institution or any individual with internet access. Dr. Karen Head, an assistant professor at the School of Literature, Media and Communication in Georgia Institute of Technology, and a New York Times OP-ED Columnist Thomas Friedman seem to agree and disagree on a number of aspects that concern the MOOCs. While the former presents an objective look at the subject, the latter is quite optimistic about the whole idea surrounding the MOOCs.
Both authors seem to agree to the fact that MOOCs are a noble idea that can revolutionize the education sector in terms of expanded access and reduced costs. For example, in her article “Lessons Learned from a Freshman-Composition MOOC”, Head (2013) observes that about 21,934 students enrolled for the freshman composition course. This is quite a huge number of students receiving the course, which would have otherwise been restricted to few tens of students if it was to be offered in a traditional classroom setting. In Inside a MOOC in Progress, Head (2013) observes that with the application of tools such as Google Maps, students can be reached on every continent. Friedman refers to MOOCs as a revolution. In his article Revolution hits the Universities, Friedman (2013) notes that MOOCs have a huge potential in unlocking many more brains in solving the world’s pressing problems. However, the two authors seem to present different views on the effectiveness and practicability of MOOCs on the ground.
First, Dr. Head observes that while many students enroll for the MOOCs, the retention rates are terrible. For example, out of the 21,934 students who had enrolled for the freshman composition course, about 14,771 of them were active in the course, but only 238 students managed to receive a completion certificate, (Head, 2013). Receiving the completion
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