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MOOCs: Design, Use and Business Models by Claire Thoury, Yves Epelboin, Jean-Charles Pomerol

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5

MOOCs and Higher Education

MOOCs arouse significant passions in the field of education. Is the phenomenon a revolution, as certain people claim? If so, is it an educational revolution or an institutional revolution, with the demise of certain higher education institutions? Will MOOCs destroy academia? [VAR 12]1. For his part, the founder of Udacity, Sebastian Thrun, in a very well-known article published in Wired in 20122, predicted that most American universities would close within ten years, although it must be noted that his opinion has changed since then (see section 4.2). Finally, we should cite Nathan Harden’s article in The American Interest, 2012 [HAR 12], whose title is revealing: “The End of the University as we Know it3”, and begins with these words: “In fifty years, if not much sooner, half of the roughly 4,500 colleges and universities now operating in the United States will have ceased to exist. The technology driving this change is already at work, and nothing can stop it. The future looks like this: access to collegelevel education will be free for everyone; the residential college campus will become largely obsolete; tens of thousands of professors will lose their jobs; the bachelor’s degree will become increasingly irrelevant; and ten years from now Harvard will enroll ten million students.

5.1. MOOCs and universities

In order to estimate the impact that MOOCs have on universities’ policies and reflect on their future relations, it is, at the very least, necessary ...

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