Another take on whether MOOCs will mean the death of universities

By way of follow up to my post asking How will the internet subvert campus-based higher education?, I see that Stephen King (Monash) has a similar post on The Conversation:

MOOCs will mean the death of universities? Not likely

However, within all the commentary on the rise of MOOCs, the death of the university campus has been grossly exaggerated. … MOOCs will not threaten existing university education – and are unlikely to survive – unless they adapt to the internet as a medium of delivery.

[Nevertheless] … change is inevitable … [and] universities that act early can build a reputation for innovative, high-quality teaching. … The universities that succeed in transforming education will not be those that work on a top down approach. That cannot work. Rather, it is the universities that develop the incentives and motivation for “bottom up” academic-led reform who will be tomorrow’s leaders in tertiary education.


Stephen might be right that current MOOCs are not yet in a position to threaten the campus model of third level education, but I think he is rather too complacent about the threat that they pose. I agree with him that change is inevitable, but I think it will come about much sooner than he does, and I think that universities need to move much more quickly than he does.