As Berkeley makes its own MOOC moves, this distinction is crucial: Free, open-sourced MOOCS are a public service, an investigation into certain technologies, a way of broadcasting your university’s name to the world, a democratizing gesture. Monetized credit-bearing online courses have impossibly high rates of cheating, are often cheaply done and poorly staffed, with one (frequently part-time) faculty drudge (I call these people air traffic controllers) responsible for hundreds of students, etc. They are hard to distinguish from the tax-syphoning, for-profit, shames-of-a-nation. (Scroll down.)
Faculty leaders have cautioned the university against moving too quickly with the online courses. The UC Academic Senate has said it worries about the quality and finances of the UC Online project.
In contrast, some of those most concerned about UC’s plans say they support free projects like Coursera and edX.