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MOOCs: Why Low-Cost Will Not Create Equal Access

, , Woodbury University, United States

E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Las Vegas, NV, USA ISBN 978-1-939797-05-6 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), San Diego, CA


How will Moocs influence the college and university system? This paper examines them with the “iron triangle” principles of access, cost, and quality. These show that while Moocs have lower cost, they also have reduced access. Because they reduce person-to-person contact, students must already be skilled life-long learners. In addition, while Moocs are currently free, this is a result of them being subsidized. Their actual cost per successful completer is closer to 1/10th of a traditional face-to-face or online course. As a result, Moocs are unlikely to significantly affect existing face-to-face or online delivery mechanisms. Instead, they are likely to reach new life-long learners.


Garrett, N. & Allala, Y. (2013). MOOCs: Why Low-Cost Will Not Create Equal Access. In T. Bastiaens & G. Marks (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn 2013--World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 86-94). Las Vegas, NV, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 26, 2019 from .


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