The rising cost of higher education has sparked a revolution in online learning. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) offer a learning experience that wouldn’t otherwise be available to many of the students flocking to these free, online-only classrooms.
Now, more universities are joining the trend, even though some administrators and educators worry that MOOCs could impact the current higher ed business model.
According to a report from EDUCAUSE, the University of Manitoba sponsored the first MOOC in 2008, entitled “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge.” Since then, the online classes have become so ubiquitous that The New York Times dubbed 2012 The Year of the MOOC.
The success of MOOCs can be attributed in part to their nontraditional approach to education. Courses typically are free of charge and not limited by location or size. Students are also given the freedom to enroll in a course and dictate the flow for themselves.
NerdWallet.com has taken a look at the rise of MOOCs and compiled its findings into an infographic.
The breakthrough moment for MOOCs appears to have come in 2011, when a Stanford University artificial-intelligence class achieved an enrollment of 150,000 online students. The infographic identifies Coursera, Udacity and edX as the major players in MOOCs. The largest provider, Coursera, has 37 participating schools and 210 course offerings.
To learn more about how far MOOCs have come, check out the infographic below.