I just responded to a post in LinkedIn and I thought I would share this here. I have not spoken about MOOCs much because I still feel we are in very early stages of them. So here are my current thoughts when someone asked if these will replace traditional colleges:
It is way too early to see where MOOCs really fit in. I saw these same conversations in the late 90s when online education first became popular. The problem with MOOCs and other forms of distance ed is that the dropout rates are nearly double that of F2F colleges. Until we can get over that motivation (really self motivation and discipline) barrier I am not sure how these will replace the traditional colleges. That is just one issue of many. MOOCs might solve some problems in higher ed but they also create some as well. Considering most are in experimental phases and the companies pushing them have really yet to test their business model, I would guess that we have a ways to go before we start seeing if there is a UoP or Walden U type success in the MOOC world. I am not saying it will not happen. I am saying that there are a lot of hurdles MOOCs need to first overcome. When I see one of the main companies roll out a proven successful business model, then I will be less skeptical but as of now its way too early to tell.