I don't think I've said this before here, but if so I'll say it again. I hear traditional academics continue to say things like, "Aha, the MOOC is a failure because of their completion rates." I've heard similar remarks in relation to WGU and its completion rates.
Yes, yes, the MOOC is not ready to replace the traditional academy yet in its current form. But to judge the MOOC by completion rates is to judge it by traditional standards. The more important number is how many people have started a MOOC and who are delighted that MOOCs exist. It speaks of a longing for something the traditional academy is not giving, something that fits more with an internet age where information is free.
Whoever cracks the nut of certifying competencies in an environment of free information will undo the traditional academy, if industry goes along with it. The universities that are willing to convert portfolios and artifacts into credit will prevail. The purists will only survive if they have a dedicated clientele who have a lot of extra cash.
Do you know how easy it would be to develop a properly artifacted MOOC, suitable to be converted to college credit at a university on the basis of credit by assessment?
Said the Ptolemaic scientist to Copernicus, "Aha, my very complicated math explains the movements of the heavenly bodies around the earth more precisely than your simple circular orbits around the sun."
Said Copernicus to the Ptolemaics, "I'm just waiting for Kepler, and then you'll be done."