SJSU and Udacity: Poor Planning and Support, but Valuable Reviewing of Results

Phil Hill, Time, Jul 24, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The upside of the 'pause' taken by San Jose State University's MOOC offering is in the availability of the relevant data, reports Phil Hill. "How often do we get the chance to review the results of traditional college courses and see institutions publicly study the learning outcomes in order to improve the course effectiveness?" For defenders of traditional learning, the results are a bit shocking: "The pass rates for the San Jose State students in those courses ranged from 29 percent to 51 percent. For nonenrolled students, the range was 12 percent to 45 percent." When you pay full tuition and only 29 percent of students pass, you have to ask what's going on? Meanwhile, the low MOOC results are explained in part by the rush to get the course online at all. "Because of the haste, faculty were building the courses on the fly. Not only was this a “recipe for insanity,” Junn said, but faculty did not have a lot of time to watch how students were doing in the courses."

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