Is Antioch University Paving the Way for an Online Learning Revolution?


A few years ago, online learning was considered by many to be a joke. Times have certainly changed for the better, however, and increasing numbers of students are now earning highly respectable online degrees through a variety of colleges and universities. Now it seems that online education is seeing the next step of its evolution with Coursera. Coursera offers MOOCs, or massive open online courses). Coursera has seen its share of opposition, but has been widely welcomed by learners of all ages. Now, Antioch University has decided to provide Coursera MOOCs for undergraduate credit. This could be the ripple that sets off a tidal wave of change for online students.

How It Will Work

Antioch University will only be providing Antioch courses that are wrapped around MOOCs on Coursera. This will allow instructors to make use of high quality materials that already exist online. Coursera is certainly a powerhouse for driving online education. Since its beginnings nine months ago, over 1.75 million students have participated in over 200 different courses through 33 universities. Around 33% of these students are United States residents, while the balance come from around the world.

Why It Is Popular

Coursera has served to overcome some of education’s biggest issues. Many parts of the world lack the capacity to serve students properly. Western countries have rapidly rising costs. The United States has a staggering dropout rate. Coursera helps overcome these issues by providing educational opportunities in underserved areas, keeping cost low, and providing little risk.

The Reality

Coursera and other programs like it are on course to change the world of education forever. While it is impossible to recreate the face-to-face experience of traditional classes online, this format provides flexible scheduling and larger class sizes, which adds a fantastic diversity for cooperative learning communities.

Implementing Coursera in Antioch University is merely step one. Further colleges and universities will be able to purchase a license for Coursera materials to integrate into their own curriculum. In addition, the future will likely hold charges for certificates of course completion as well as employer referrals. This revenue will allow Coursera to pay the schools, who can then pay the instructors who create courses. As this fantastic format grows, look for online education to change forever.