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“It’s taken us three years to arrive at more focused intentions,” Agarwal explains, “but learners want credit, and to provide credit we must create quality learning environments that meet the needs of diverse learners, and are recognized by institutions and employers.” And it’s no secret that credit is a bridge to financial sustainability for edX and its partner universities.

There are a number of advantages of MOOC based learning, some disadvantages, and the ongoing experimenting is providing some perspective on what’s next. Likely all things MOOC will continue to evolve as various components are improved and “features and tools” are added that support learning.  But one challenge that isn’t going away any time soon is how do we provide alternative accreditation.

OTOH, learners/ students and societies are looking for ways to ensure quality education is affordable to all citizens. The present status quo is surreally out of whack when it comes to matching ed costs and family resources for the vast majority of Americans, to say nothing of those in other countries. That imbalance can’t be sustained forever. It is eating up disposable income that would otherwise be available for car and home and other big ticket items. Clearly one impetus behind MOOC development is lowering costs.

In addition, if learning takes place in parts from here there and everywhere, then we need some form of accreditation that recognizes aggregated learning. Who will be the gatekeeper for that, and will they have leverage to keep learning pricey, or will the economics of it all break for the “consumer”/ learner?

Here’s an updater from EdSurge on status of some of the big MOOCs, especially edX.

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