MOOCs Push The Efficiency Frontier

In the FAQ for Professor Terwiesch’s Operations Management class he says, “You will look at the world with different eyes,” and he wasn’t kidding.

While watching his Conclusion video for the class, I recalled considering how these online courses are pushing the efficiency frontier of education. However, I am clearly still not as capable at creating graphical representations of my thoughts as the prof himself:

Coursera's Efficiency Frontier

But I do contemplate how MOOCs in general will affect this curve. Even now, I’m not completely sure I agree with graphing Coursera as a whole so high on the curve. I hope it is, but I honestly believe it may have just been Christian Terwiesch‘s Operations course, as it truly was exceptional.

Regardless, I think MOOC courses are extremely beneficial to the knowledge hungry (like myself), but should not be accepted as an equivalent to an academic credit (although it is being considered). The courses do, however, open an infinite number of possibilities for “live” classes to be even more effective.

Ideas that immediately spring to mind — using the courses as:

  • a prerequisite;
  • supplemental material; or
  • a basis for creating the “flipped classroom” environment.