A "MOOC" is a massive open on-line course which has gained a lot of attention in recent days. One of the justifications for ousting the president of the University of Virginia was she wasn't moving fast enough to deal with such challenges. Somewhere in the newspapers today was a discussion of them, with the casual information that most enrollment in the biggest MOOC's came from outside the U.S. And Margaret Saletan, of University Diaries, has commented on the foreign students who signed up for her MOOC (a mini-MOOC on poetry).
I wonder about the impacts: if I'm a professor in Italy, or Kenya, or somewhere else and some of my students start to compare my course with the MOOC from Stanford, what happens? Do I raise my game? Do I try to outlaw such competition? Do I learn from the MOOC?
On a different subject, it's interesting the new President of Egypt has a Phd from SoCal.