This is a important part about this idea, thanks for bringing it up! So one weakness for MOOC would be the lack of socialization and collaboration between students that is very much a large part of college life on campus. I think this is one of the most important parts that if MOOC do become a part of student life, will need to be addressed!
Thank you, I agree, collaboration is an important part of even introductory classes. And the college 'experience' is just as important as the classes. I think there could be potential for peer collaboration on open course ware platforms, even by still allowing the independence and self-paced learning. Group projects or group enrollments could be some alternatives to the completely self-paced methods, allowing interested students to sign up for a physics project, case study or literature examination, for example, by locality or utilizing face-to-face communication technologies.
One point I thought supported the open course ware as a means to an end was the accessibility. Potential students who may be considered college, but have difficulty with the affordability, could use open course ware as an accessibility tool to gauge their interest in pursuing a degree. I think there is a lot of uncertainty when you are low income, and are still unsure about whether you want to pursue a degree or not. So open course ware for credit would allow more students to experience a class, and I hope this would lead to more students to realize they can and want to pursue a degree, when otherwise they may have decided against it.
Also, Shane, thanks for the link! I've read over Alexandra's post, and it was an inspiration for this idea. I think open course ware for credit would increase the number of students who try for college, and because of the personal willingness through the new avenue, potential students would be more willing and sure of themselves to pursue a degree. I think that cutting out traditional classes completely would not be a solution, but I think it is a good point to explore how open course for credit could simply cut the cost instead of replacing classes.