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Interesting challenges to the standard model of University teaching from MOOCs – needs to be taken seriously:

There is a lot of apocalyptic language around at the moment. And not just in higher education: we are, after all, still picking our way through the aftermath of a financial “tsunami”.

So it was timely for the authors of a recent report on the challenges facing our own sector to couch their analysis in terms of an “avalanche”.

The upheaval forecast by the Institute for Public Policy Research in An Avalanche Is Coming: Higher Education and the Revolution Ahead is based largely on the advent of a new type of online learning – the now ubiquitous massive open online course, or Mooc. Co-authored by Sir Michael Barber (a former head of Tony Blair’s Delivery Unit who is currently chief education strategist for the education giant Pearson), the report warns of a coming era of unprecedented competition in higher education driven by proliferating online opportunities, and it generated widespread media coverage last month.

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