Transparency, Instructional Content, and Competition

Then . . . MOOCs happened. Suddenly, this public demonstration of an institution’s instructional practices became front page news. Not merely local news or industry news (e.g. The Chronicle), but the New York Times, The Guardian, and The Atlantic. Now university presidents paid attention. They recognized that MOOCs could be one of the most potent forms of marketing for their institutions — for better or for worse. While they may not have shown much interest in online learning previously, Presidents of elite universities moved quickly to take part in this “me-too” public relations strategy. The investments made in these courses climbed quickly. Videographers, make-up artists, lighting crews and even actors started receiving invitations to the campus to help create a professional look and feel.

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