Ki Mae Heussner checks in on the Minerva Project, which is trying to bring a “Harvard-level education to the Web”:
The company is for-profit but announced a plan to create a non-profit Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship to create new programs to finance students’ education and recruit top-level teaching talent. Led by former Senator and Governor Bob Kerrey (D-NB), who was also the former president of The New School, the Institute will emphasize Minerva’s commitment to a business model that doesn’t leave college graduates with a crushing debt load and that provides new opportunities for professors in a tough academic job market.
Daniel Luzer, meanwhile, focuses on the University of California’s foray into online education:
The one sucker person who signed up was a high school girl who paid $1,400 for an online precalculus course offered through UC Irvine.
The trouble is that at the same time the UC system created its rent-seeking online program to “knock people’s socks off,” the whole world got all excited about, and signed up for, Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, the college courses Stanford, Michigan, Princeton, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania are now offering Americans for free. It’s pretty hard to “market” a $1,400 product when a whole lot of other places seem to be offering a pretty similar product at no cost.
Recent Dish on the rise of MOOCs here.