What Has Happened to Massively Open Online Courses?

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Excerpt

It is interview time at the University of Colorado College of Nursing, and I have been interviewing applicants for the spring 2018 class. One of my applicants took some massively open online courses (MOOCs) in preparation for graduate education with informatics as a possible specialty. Needless to say, I was impressed.
I first wrote about MOOCs in 2012. A year later, I reported on the continuing hype about MOOCs as a major disruptor in higher education (Skiba, 2012, 2013). Like most innovations, MOOCs passed through Gartner’s (2017) hype cycle, where the first stage was the innovation trigger, followed by the peak of inflated expectations. During that stage, there was a push in many universities to develop and offer MOOCs. But where are they now?
MOOCs fell into Gartner’s trough of disillusionment. With interest in creating MOOCs subsiding, some universities did not reap the benefits of offering the free online courses they developed. This has been a particularly hard result for public universities that sought to use this technology to ultimately increase their student enrollments. But some companies (e.g., Coursera, Udacity, and edX) have remained in business and continue to offer MOOCs to the masses.
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