Who Is Getting the Most Out of Online Education and Why

MOOC U. explains why you should sign up for massive open online course (MOOC) and how you can get the greatest benefit from the courses. It does so by telling a story–the story of a single MOOC: University of Virginia Professor Ed Hess’s “Grow to Gre

Higher education expert and award-wining author Jeffrey J. Selingo captures in four perspectives–the student’s, the professor’s, the university’s, and the online course provider’s–why today’s average MOOC student can benefit tremendously from MOOCs, if they only know a bit about how to navigate the MOOC universe. MOOC U. provides a path to success for the six million and rising students who have signed up for a free online course.

A few years ago, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) were heralded as higher education’s savior. They would provide free, high quality education to remote villages around the world and those shut out of world-classuniversities. That remains a compelling vision, but one that is at odds with the hopes and plans of the majority of people who have signed up for a MOOC since 2011. Most of them are college graduates using MOOCs as a supplement to formal classroom learning and a tool for professional development. For these students, learning to use MOOCs as an instrument for learning, more like a textbook, rather than a replacement for college provides rich opportunities and immediate rewards.

The problem is that there are no guidebooks for prospective MOOC students like the hundreds that exist for the bricks-and-mortar world of college. MOOC U. is meant to be that guidebook: an explanation of the confusing web of MOOC players, the far-flung classmates, the professors, and most of all, how to determine quality in this new ecosystem. By following one MOOC course, the book lays out the issues and challenges of MOOCs through the personal stories of the people in the action.