Massive Changes to Higher Education

Higher education is undergoing a period of change and experimentation. Digital tools are enabling new kinds of educational experiences, opportunities and communities, none more so than massive open online courses (MOOCs). Many voices are cheering these developments, optimistic that many intractable challenges might be overcome through technology. Others are concerned that education is inherently different than other industries and spheres of society and that ‘disruption’ is, after all, quite disruptive.

In this blog, we will explore the meaning and impact of MOOCs, seeking understanding while maintaining a sensible distance between both hype and fear. Some of our ongoing questions will focus on:

Impact on Universities: How will MOOCs pedagogically, philosophically and financially impact universities?

Quality: What are the characteristics of great MOOCs?

Innovation: How are instructors and MOOC platform providers pursuing educational innovation? What services are launching to support the ecosystem?

Academic Labor: How do MOOCs affect the future of professorships?

Credentials: How do MOOCs affect the future of the degree?

In the same spirit of the technology we will cover, we hope that this blog will be a community space, where ideas and inquiries can be discussed and examined collaboratively. If you would like to contribute, please write to

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