EdX, an online platform founded by Harvard, Berkeley and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has already attracted 800,000 students from 192 countries since it started in autumn 2012. Significantly, the platform has developed an examination process, which means that online learners can graduate from an EdX course with a certificate and a grade.
However, it seems unlikely, for the time being, that online higher education will supersede traditional on-campus university degrees. It is well-known that many leading institutions, including Oxford and Cambridge, are absent from a list of 17 universities that have signed up to give away their course content online.
An obstacle preventing online courses from being taken seriously is the fact that many have a high drop-out rate. For instance, although 155,000 students registered online to take MIT’s courses on electronics on EdX, only 7,200 students completed them. With no tutors or lecturers to help you in person, self-motivation and discipline are required in abundance to see a course through to the end.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1.- Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a) Online courses do not offer the possibility of getting a diploma.
b) Education online is already available in every university of Great Britain.
2.- In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions. Do not copy from the text.
- a) How will courses online change the academic routine of university students? PAR.1
- b) Why is it so difficult for students to complete an online course? PAR.3
II. USE OF ENGLISH
3.- Find the words in the text that mean:
- a) make a great effort (paragraph 1) STRUGGLE
- b) nevertheless (paragraph 3) HOWEVER
- c) replace (paragraph 3) SUPERSEDE
- d) needed (paragraph 4) REQUIRED
4.- Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
- a) I graduated years ago. If my university HAD OFFERED (offer) courses online, I WOULD HAVE TAKEN (take) them.
- b) Professor Nelson is not interested IN laptop lectures. He prefers traditional education TO virtual platforms.
- c) Students who ARE ADMITTED (admit) in MIT are aware that they won’t succeed UNLESS they work hard.
- d) Complete the following sentence to report what was said.
- “What would you like to do when you finish High School?” Mary asked her son.
- Mary asked her son WHAT HE WOULD LIKE TO DO WHEN HE FINISHED HIGH SCHOOL.
III. WRITING5.- Write about 100 to 150 words on the following topic.
- Do you think online learning will eventually substitute traditional education? Give your opinion.