Although perceptions and preferences among adults lean heavily toward in-class instruction, Ng believes the growth of massive open online courses, provided by companies such as Coursea, edX, and Udacity, will change outlooks in the long term.
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Coursera alone has 33 member schools, including Stanford, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania, offering free online courses, and the company recently announced that it passed 1 million student enrollments. Having top-ranked universities offer courses through the online delivery model will ultimately have a strong influence on adults' perspectives on online education, Ng says.
"We all trust prestigious universities to have high standards," he notes. "From a student perspective, if you go online and take a class through Princeton, there's something reassuring that it's a Princeton course. When you put on a résumé that you took a course from a Princeton professor, that means something."
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