At their inception several short years ago, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) were an unproven concept with passionate advocates and doubters on opposite sides of a great debate. MOOCs were going to revolutionize higher ed, or destroy it. No one could tell which it would be.
A decade later, top MOOC providers like Coursera and EdX have grown and prospered. Top-notch course offerings by the best universities in the world have attracted millions of students world-wide. Legions of online pupils of all ages have completed courses, some earning coveted professional certificates and even fully-accredited graduate degrees online. Low cost has made high quality higher ed available to a much wider, world-wide audience.
Though forms are still evolving and the precise roles to be played by MOOCs are still uncertain, both the radically new concept and the traditional educational landscape have survived and even thrived as a result of the introduction and mainstreaming of MOOCs.
Today, MOOCs and associated certificates/degrees are legitimate educational alternatives.
See links below for further info:
Massive Open Online Course (WikiPedia)
By the Numbers: MOOCs in 2017
The Future of MOOCs
Coursera Professional Certificates
Coursera Undergrad and Grad Degrees
EdX MicroMasters Certificates
EdX Professional Certificates
EdX Series Programs
MIT Open Courseware
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