MOOCs' massive class sizes can breed a sense of isolation, but they also offer unique opportunities for student interaction and collaboration.
San Jose State University has published the findings of a study of its recent experiment with for-credit Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Student performance improved between the spring 2013 pilot program and the following summer program in all three of the initial classes offered. However, the overall retention rate for the summer program dropped.
The sheer size and diversity of the student body in a MOOC force faculty to use strategies for planning, teaching, and assessment that differ radically from those used in traditional classes.
A virtual network of scholars, artists, and students who work on technology, science, and feminism will be running a "distributed open collaborative course," or DOCC, that looks at technology through a feminist lens. Planned activities include a "storming" of Wikipedia to write women "back" into the history of technology.
Combining in-class instruction with high-quality MOOCs may resolve some of the hurdles facing stand-alone MOOCs, but questions about cost and the impact on faculty remain unanswered.
WizIQ is making its distance learning platform free for college and university instructors.
American InterContinental University has completed a pilot program that integrated adaptive learning technology into online math and English courses and, based on the program's success, it is now integrating the technology into other courses.
The Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California has overhauled the technology supporting its online engineering master's program. The university will debut its multi-million dollar technology investment when students return to the program this fall.
While the term "MOOC" brings to mind thousands of students viewing recorded lectures without much interaction, alternative models are fostering creativity and collaboration with peers.
Capella University has received sign-off from the United States Department of Education to allow students in two of its degree programs to receive federal financial aid in order to pursue "competency-based" credits in lieu of Carnegie units.