What should statistics do about massive open online courses?

Roger Peng

Marie Davidian, the President of the American Statistical Association, writes about the JHU Biostatistics effort to deliver massive open online courses. She interviewed Jeff, Brian Caffo, and me and summarized our thoughts.

All acknowledge that the future is unknown. How MOOCs will affect degree programs remains to be seen. Roger notes that the MOOCs he, Jeff, Brian, and others offer seem to attract many students who would likely not enter a degree program at Hopkins, regardless, so may be filling a niche that will not result in increased degree enrollments. But Brian notes that their MOOC involvement has brought extensive exposure to the Hopkins Department of Biostatistics—for many people the world over, Hopkins biostatistics is statistics.