I heard the other day that participation in the Stanford AI course stands at about 20,000 out of the initial 160,000. Not far off participation trends in online learning generally and very impressive for a free offering. And still a very big number.
What intrigues me is that this may offer even elite schools the opportunity to have some form of open enrollment option. Instead of having to guess which 5% of applicants are most likely to succeed, schools can offer a set of qualifying courses in a similar format to all comers and accept the most successful.
This truly would have a democratizing effect on higher education. I’m sure the system would have its own biases, but at least theoretically, anyone would have a chance to get in based on actual performance. And even a very small fee would likely generate enough revenue to more than cover cost.