I believe Sebastian when he says that. I bet that a Udacity class is great fun to teach. Key to Udacity and similar online course platforms is a rapid feedback loop. They know what's going on in the class all-the-time, from all the instrumentation on every problem, and from all the message boards and email traffic. They hear a lot, from really good students.
And I hear from the students who drop out or fail: in terms of course reports, in terms of failing grades on assignments, in terms of tears at office hours. If I only talked and listened to the top students, the job would be easier.
.... I don't think that they're arguing that they are replacing the state university, nor that they are reaching everybody. They have a new kind of educational technology that speaks to a particular audience, and they are exploring it. I don't worry about Sebastian and Dave. I more worry about those who don't see the students that Udacity isn't talking to
Udacity solves a particular problem. It's not necessarily the answer to the problems facing higher education.
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