Massive Online Degree Program at Georgia Tech

Massively open online courses (MOOCs) continue to draw attention, particularly at the post-secondary level. Among the important developments is the formal use of MOOCs by colleges and universities. And among these is the news that we tracked out of Georgia that Georgia Tech launched a massive online degree program in January with 375 students. From the story:

The Master of Science in Computer Science program is the first degree program from an accredited university offered solely in a massive online course format, university officials said. Most online students will pay less than $7,000 for the graduate degree, compared to $45,000 for on-campus students…

The hybrid model of Georgia Tech’s program differs from traditional massive online courses, in that the university’s courses are not free and participation is limited.

More than 2,300 people applied for the online degree program during a three-week application period, which is three times more than the number received for the on-campus program during an entire year, according to university reports.

Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn put the Georgia Tech program in perspective within the broader online learning disruption in Innovation Imperative: Change Everything - Online Education as an Agent of Transformation, calling it “perhaps the most promising experiment” in the disruption of colleges and universities by online learning.

We have discussed MOOCs at the K-12 level here and here, and we remain skeptical about whether they are going to have a major impact. If programs like the Georgia Tech one are successful, however, they are likely to speed the adoption within high schools.