MOOC-Based Alternative Credentials: What’s the Value for the Learner? (EDUCAUSE Review)

"When massive open online courses (MOOCs) first grabbed the attention of major media outlets in 2011, bold claims were made about democratizing education and providing high-quality credentials at a fraction of the costs of traditional degrees. For a research center like ours that studies the cost-effectiveness of educational programs and strategies, MOOCs seemed too good to be true. The prospect of high-quality instruction being offered at mass scale sounded like the perfect candidate for cost-effective education. However, our investigations showed that while it was feasible to assess the cost side of the equation, the benefits were much harder to capture."—Source: EDUCAUSE Review

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Long story short, we won't see MOOCs replacing degrees anytime soon. The low-sgtakes, flexible MOOC model has major benefits for professional learners, but with low completion rates, questions about their value remain.