Administrators doubt advantages of free online courses

Published on January 21, 2013
by The GW Hatchet in Accreditation, Productivity, Technology, and Innovation, Higher Education

Excerpt from Catherine Barnao's article.

GW’s strategy – hanging back until the marketplace develops and then launching courses in its academic strengths – seems logical, experts said.

“I think it definitely makes sense to, if you’re going to have a MOOC strategy, to have a focused strategy,” said Richard Garrett, a higher education analyst at the Boston-based consulting firm Eduventures.

By using the free courses to give students a taste of GW’s best professors and classes, Garrett said MOOCs might eventually serve as recruitment tools for the University.

Despite the growing number of schools that are linking up with host companies for free online courses, Kristen Amundson, senior vice president for external relations for the think tank Education Sector said there’s still room for schools like GW because “we’re kind of in the ‘Wild West’ stage here.”

If anything, GW is just its “period of thoughtful planning,” said Michael Feuer, dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development...