Educating Minds Online

January 08, 2015 / Phil Lesch

The Chronicle of Higher Educationn
December 8th, 2014

This fall I attended a conference at Rice University where Anant Agarwal, chief executive of EdX, and Daphne Koller, president of Coursera, spoke on "teaching in the university of tomorrow." They highlighted the potential of online courses to expand access to higher education to people who have traditionally been excluded from its purview.

Both ended their talks by spotlighting specific cases of people whose life situations made a college degree difficult or unlikely for them. Yet they had started their trajectory in higher education as MOOC students and then gradually worked their way to more traditional universities and to career success. The obvious implication: Online courses cracked open a previously closed door for those students.

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