For now, UW will observe free online course movement from sidelines

Todd Finkelmeyer:

“The single most important experiment in higher education,” reads the headline to this piece posted at asks: “Will online education startups like Coursera end the era of expensive higher education?”
Those posts were related to the news announced earlier this week that a dozen more universities have signed on with Coursera to deliver free, online classes to the masses that are known as MOOCs (massive online open classrooms).
“The news certainly caught my eye,” says Paul Peercy, the dean of UW-Madison’s College of Engineering, which has a long tradition of delivering master’s degrees and continuing education online. “I’m convinced that the rapid advances in information technology are going to change the world. And they’re going to change education at all levels.”
That said, UW-Madison officials explain they’re not ready to jump on the MOOCs bandwagon just yet, instead opting for a more cautious approach to getting involved with this exploding trend in higher education.