Nathan Heller has a really nice deep dive into the world of MOOCs in this week’s New Yorker.  Here’s a taste:

Education is a curiously alchemic process. Its vicissitudes are hard to isolate. Why do some students retain what they learned in a course for years, while others lose it through the other ear over their summer breaks? Is the fact that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to revolutionize the tech industry a sign that their Harvard educations worked, or that they failed? The answer matters, because the mechanism by which conveyed knowledge blooms into an education is the standard by which MOOCs will either enrich teaching in this country or deplete it.

Well worth the time to read.