The world is atwitter over the newest initiative in online education: MOOCs (massive open online courses). Since The Chronicle of Higher Education first explored the MOOC phenomenon in August 2010, MOOCs have evolved from a small but growing push toward 'open teaching'" into what New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman has called a "revolution" in higher education. However, MOOCs are not a panacea for all of higher education's ills. Most schools simply do not have the computing infrastructure and network capacity necessary to successfully host and operate a MOOC. Finally, there are all kinds of legal and policy problems embedded in offering MOOCs, most notably those relating to copyright ownership. The lasting legacy of the MOOC phenomenon will be that it will significantly change historic copyright ownership norms in higher education.
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