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Go Easy on Moocs

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Artist's representation of a MOOC.

A new report suggests the federal government should keep its hands off MOOCs.


The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology on Wednesday released a report recommending the federal government not interfere with massive open online course (MOOC) vendors and providers.

Furthermore, the report suggests accreditors waive some of the standards required of institutions seeking approval for traditional programs.

"It would also be premature to impose standards and regulations that might impair the power of competitive market forces to motivate innovation," the report says. "If the bar for accreditation is set too high, the infant industry developing MOOC and related technology platforms may struggle to realize its full potential."

The report also says grant programs should be created to support research into online education and MOOC effectiveness, with a "national exchange mechanism" such as a "center for high-scale machine learning" to facilitate data access.

MOOC accreditation is a contentious issue, with faculty critics arguing that MOOCs should be subject to more oversight and regional accreditors rebutting charges that they are hindering new technologies.

The council developed the report, which will be the first in a series on technology in higher education, over the past year through discussions with higher education experts whose recommendations have been incorporated.

From Inside Higher Ed
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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