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The biggest problem with MOOCs I find is the lack of real engagement with other students. Yes, students are encouraged to socialize together, work together and make it a social effort to complete the course - together with the study group etc. However, one of the big things I have with university education is that people make contacts and connections with people - when you attend a highly graded university you can be fairly certain that the people around you are very motivated and ambitious. They are people who want and will get things done. They aren't just some fat strangers sitting in their basement and trolling on the forums such as in MOOCs.

If only it was the skills you have that matters. It's not, it really is not. It's the fact that you're somebody who attended a highly graded University and actually got out with a degree. That's something! Not what skills you learned.

Many free online courses have associated real-world study groups that form, especially in the larger cities. In fact, "meeting people / networking" is one of the reasons people take free online courses.

Then there are ideas like The Minerva Project, where the students all live together, but the courses are online.

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