Can MOOCs Solve the STEM Problem?

* Apple on pile of books

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are being touted as the future of secondary education, and many proponents argue that the MOOC model may solve the U.S. shortage of technical workers. Skeptics, however, question the quality of the training provided by such online education courses.

In 2016, a group of students will receive master’s degrees in computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology. These students will pay $7,000 for the degree – about one-sixth of the traditional cost – and may never set foot on campus. Thanks to an agreement between Georgia Tech, AT&T, and Udacity, a venture-capital funded online education start-up, students will learn virtually via a “massive open online course,” or MOOC.

Online education is not new, of course. About one-third of students today take at least one online course, but the MOOC model is different, and many believe it could revolutionize higher education, particularly for students studying STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.

Read more: Can MOOCs Solve the STEM Problem?.