Online learning has slowly, but surely garnered the support of countless universities across the nation with Americans realizing the advantageous aspects of MOOCs (massive open online courses). The possibilities seem endless with colleges now capable of reaching hundreds of thousands of students worldwide, but there are still skeptics who remain cautious. Some schools find the futuristic learning method threatening, unable to comprehend how the Internet and education can work together as one, nor how the physical structure of a higher education institution will be able to survive such progressive thinking. But regardless of the naysayers, support for MOOCs remains strong, evident by the millions of students who have signed up for MOOCs to date and the vast amount of money invested in such innovative educational fortresses. Don’t believe me? Check out an infographic of the major players in the MOOC world below:

The infographic, which was originally published on Chronicle and was created by Xarissa Holdaway and NIgel Hawtin, outlines the investors, donors, professors, alums, board members, among others who have helped foster the growth of MOOCs and make them what they are today. Udacity, Coursera, Khan Academy, and edX are all featured in the center of the chart with a series of intertwining lines showcasing how each MOOC came to be. Of course there are the expected schools like Harvard, MIT, and Stanford as well as the big names like Google and Pearson paving the way for online thinking, but then there are the more unexpected supporters from the nonprofit realm.

Overall, the infographic itself does not unveil any big surprises, it’s only a more succinct, easy way to view the more prominent MOOCs and their backers. What does this say about the future? MOOCs are becoming more and more prevalent, accepted alternative routes to an education that forward-thinkers are just on the verge of understanding. We don’t know what the future will hold, but I can say that MOOCs, they aren’t going anywhere.

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