Inside Higher Ed published an article by Paul Fein last week that focuses on an unappreciated benefit that community colleges have found in the much-debated MOOC concept; that of remedial education.
Fein relates that community colleges aren’t replacing their curricula with MOOCs, but some are starting to employ third-party online ed programs, and even creating online content of their own, to support remedial courses and placement test prep.
Major MOOC providers, particularly Coursera, have touted the potential of their courses to help more students succeed in remedial and gateway courses. That suggestion has rankled some in the community college sector, particularly the possible “outsourcing” of remediation to startups and professors at prestigious colleges. But a few acknowledge that there may be lessons to learn from the MOOC playbook, particularly when they have a say in how to incorporate those ideas.
Take a look at Fein’s piece and let us know if you think MOOCs can function as a remedial ed support tool, or if the need is greater than distance learning can meet.