Massive open online courses, or MOOCs have been hailed as a revolution in education. The free-of-charge, open-access Internet lectures attract hundreds of thousands of students around the world.
More and more institutions in Europe are offering these kinds of virtual courses, which are often described as 'multimedial', 'decentralized', or 'global'. However there is a down side. More than 90 percent of participants drop out of MOOCs at some point. The University of Lüneburg is taking a somewhat different approach by restricting admission to the online courses, but providing more supervision to induce more students to finish. What is so special about MOOCs? Is online education better than conventional lectures? Tomorrow Today visited the organizers of the Think Tank Cities project, an online course about urban centers led by the well-known architect Daniel Libeskind.