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    Julie Smith David
    Udacity Experiment at San Jose State Suspended After 56%...
    background document posted August 29, 2013 by Julie Smith David, last edited August 29, 2013, tagged Effective Learning 
    2409 Views, 13 Comments
    title:
    Udacity Experiment at San Jose State Suspended After 56% to 76% of Students Fail Final Exams
    description:

    We are going to learn a lot by experimenting with the technologies and teaching models.

    As you'll see here, not all MOOC experiements are succeeding. This article highlights challenges that San Jose State ran into.  And this quote is pretty powerful, as we think about initiatives in the near term:

    Here’s one thing to keep in mind: revolutions almost always have mass casualties, and they’re almost always the very people the Revolution was supposed to help.

    === FOLLOW UP ===

    But things can get better:  "Scores Improve in New Round of San Jose State’s Experiment With Udacity," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 28, 2013 --- Click Here

    http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/scores-improve-in-new-round-of-san-jose-states-experiment-with-udacity/45997?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    report date:
    July 19, 2013

    Comment

     

    • Robert E Jensen

      MOOC Performance Improves With a Different Mix of Students

      The Old Mix
      Udacity Experiment at San Jose State Suspended After 56% to 76% of Students Fail Final Exams ---
      http://www.openculture.com/2013/07/udacity-experiment-at-san-jose-state-suspended.html

      The New Mix
      "Scores Improve in New Round of San Jose State’s Experiment With Udacity," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 28, 2013 --- Click Here
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/scores-improve-in-new-round-of-san-jose-states-experiment-with-udacity/45997?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      Earlier this year, it looked as if a high-profile online-education experiment at San Jose State University had gone on the rocks. In the first courses the university ran with technology from Udacity, the online-learning company, students’ grades were, frankly, dismal.

      But now the pilot program appears to be back on course, buoyed by encouraging data from this summer’s trials, in which the university offered tweaked versions of the same courses to a much different mix of students.

      In the spring, the university adapted three courses for Udacity’s platform and offered them to small groups of online students for credit. The idea was to test whether Udacity’s technology and teaching methods, which the company originally developed for its massive open online courses, could be useful in a more conventional online setting.

      But the pass rates in all three Udacity-powered courses trailed far behind the rates in comparable face-to-face courses at San Jose State. The university decided not to offer any trial courses through Udacity in the fall.

      The trials that had been planned for the summer went forward, however, with tweaked versions of the same three courses, plus two others. The results have been more promising. Pass rates in each of the three repeated courses leaped upward, approaching and sometimes exceeding the pass rates in the face-to-face sections.

      For example, in the spring trial, only 25 percent of the students taking the “Udacified” version of a statistics course earned a C grade or higher; in the summer trial, 73 percent made at least a C. Only students in the adapted version of an entry-level mathematics course continued to lag well behind those in the face-to-face version on the San Jose State campus.

      The results come with an important caveat: Unlike the spring trials, which drew on San Jose State undergraduates as well as underprivileged high-school students, the summer trials were open to anybody who wanted to register.

      In an interview with The Chronicle, Sebastian Thrun, the founder of Udacity, said that half the students in the summer trials already held bachelor’s degrees and 20 percent had advanced degrees. In general, the summer students were older, with more work experience and higher levels of educational attainment. Given the difference in populations, trying to compare the pass rates for the spring and summer trials is probably not a particularly profitable exercise.

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and SMOCs ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    • Robert E Jensen

      "First Trial of Crowdsourced Grading for Computer Science Homework: The latest online crowdsourcing tool allows students to grade their classmates’ homework and receive credit for the effort they put in ," MIT's Technology Review, September 4, 2013 --- Click Here
      http://www.technologyreview.com/view/519001/first-trial-of-crowdsourced-grading-for-computer-science-homework/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130904

      The new tool is called CrowdGrader and it is available at http://www.crowdgrader.org/.

      Jensen Comment
      I remember that in K-12 school students traded papers and checked answers. Now we're coming full circle in distance education in the 21st Century. But there's a huge difference between grading answers for work done in a classroom versus work done remotely by distance education students. For example, an algebra or calculus problem solved in class has controls on cheating when each student is observed by other students and a teacher. Remotely, what is to prevent a student from having Wolfram Alpha solve an algebra or calculus problem? ---
      http://www.wolframalpha.com/

      When distance education small in size (say less than 30 students) there are alternatives for cheating controls on examinations ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#OnsiteVersusOnline

      But when a MOOC or SMOC has over 10,000 students I have difficulty imagining how cheating can be controlled unless students are required to take examinations under observation of a trusted person like the village vicar or a K-12 teacher who is being paid to observe a student taking a MOOC or SMOC examination. Having many such vicars or teachers attest to the integrity of the examination is both expensive and not aperfect solution. But it sounds much better to me than having remote students grading each other without being able to observe the examination process.

      The CrowdGrader software sounds like a great idea when students are willing to help each other. I don't buy into this tool for assigning transcript grades.

      Bob Jensen's threads on OKIs, MOOCs, and SMOCs are at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    • Robert E Jensen

      "How to Convert a Classroom Course Into a MOOC," by Michael Fredette, Campus Technology, August 28, 2013 ---
      http://campustechnology.com/articles/2013/08/28/how-to-convert-a-classroom-course-into-a-mooc.aspx?=CT21

      Bob Jensen's threads on OKIs, MOOCs, and SMOCs (including instructions for signing up) are at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    • Robert E Jensen

      MOOC --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOOCs

      "Lessons Learned From a Freshman-Composition MOOC," by Karen Head, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 6, 2013 --- Click Here
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/lessons-learned-from-a-freshman-composition-mooc/46337?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Google and edX Create a MOOC Site for the Rest of Us," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 10, 2013 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/google-and-edx-create-a-mooc-site-for-the-rest-of-us/46413?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=

      "How to Convert a Classroom Course Into a MOOC," by Michael Fredette, Campus Technology, August 28, 2013 ---
      http://campustechnology.com/articles/2013/08/28/how-to-convert-a-classroom-course-int

      "First Trial of Crowdsourced Grading for Computer Science Homework: The latest online crowdsourcing tool allows students to grade their classmates’ homework and receive credit for the effort they put in ," MIT's Technology Review, September 4, 2013 --- Click Here
      http://www.technologyreview.com/view/519001/first-trial-of-crowdsourced-grading-for-computer-science-homework/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130904

      Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, SMOCs, and OKIs ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    • Robert E Jensen

      "The Full Report on Udacity Experiment (at San Jose State)," by Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, September 12, 2013 ---
      http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/09/12/after-weeks-delays-san-jose-state-u-releases-research-report-online-courses

      San Jose State University on Wednesday quietly released the full research report on the for-credit online courses it offered this spring through the online education company Udacity. The report, marked by delays and procedural setbacks, suggests it may be difficult for the university to deliver online education in this format to the students who need it most.

      The report's release lands on the opposite end of the spectrum from the hype generated in January, when university officials, flanked by the Udacity CEO Sebastian Thrun and California Governor Jerry Brown, unveiled the project during a 45-minute press conference. The pilot project, featuring two math courses and one statistics course, aimed to bring high-quality education to students for a fraction of the cost of the university's normal tuition. Wednesday's report went live on the university’s website sometime before noon Pacific time, appearing with little fanfare on the research page of the principal investigator for the project, Elaine D. Collins. Collins serves as associate dean in the College of Science.

      The report provides a long-awaited look into how the pilot project has fared. The initials results from the spring pilot led the university to put its partnership with Udacity on “pause” for the fall semester. Last month, the university released results from the summer pilot, showing increased retention and student pass rates. However, those reports barely scratched the surface of the data the university collected during the project.

      The report, funded by the National Science Foundation, details the setbacks the research team encountered as it began to evaluate results from the spring pilot project. In particular, it took months to obtain usable data from Udacity that tracked how students used instructional resources and accessed support services. The research team then had to spend several weeks awaiting clarifications and corrections to resolve accuracy questions.

      “The result ... is that the research lagged behind the implementation whereas, ideally, it would be running alongside, providing just-in-time information about what works and where improvements can be made,” the report reads.

      The Udacity team contested the research team's findings in a blog post. They said they received the first data request on May 31, which was modified on June 3. Udacity submitted the data on June 28. The RP Group asked Udacity to reformat the data on July 25, which was performed by the next day.

      "[T]he reason for this is it’s the first time we’ve collaborated with an external entity," Thrun said. "Whatever picture is being drawn here, I don’t understand why this is being said."

      Ellen Junn, provost at San Jose State, declined to comment on Wednesday.

      Another data source, student responses to three surveys, also proved less useful than anticipated. The spring pilot produced just 213 students whose results could be used for statistical purposes -- the remaining 61 received an incomplete grade, dropped a course or were removed after data were pruned for inconsistencies. Survey response rates ranged from 32 to 34 percent, and the research team found “significant differences” between those who responded and the general student population.

      “Most importantly, successful students were overrepresented among the survey population and almost no students from the partner high school completed the surveys,” the report reads.

      The surveys were further complicated by internal delays. The spring pilot began before San Jose State’s institutional review board could approve the project, which meant the first survey, billed as an entry survey, was not conducted until the fifth week of classes.

      The research team consisted of members from the Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges and Sutee Sujitparapitaya, associate vice president for institutional research at San Jose State. Despite the complications, the report concludes the results provide pointers to how students enrolled in SJSU Plus courses learn.

      “[M]easures of student effort eclipse all other variables examined in the study, including demographic descriptions of the students, course subject matter and student use of support services,” the report reads. That means students who took charge of their own education and submitted more problem sets, logged in more often and watched more videos than the course mean were more likely to succeed than their peers were.

      The importance of student effort highlights the pilot project’s difficulties in targeting disadvantaged students, who Udacity's online support providers early on felt “lacked adequate preparation for the courses and were very unlikely to succeed.”

      Results from the first survey showed 39 percent of students had never before taken an online course. The unfamiliarity with the new platform meant less than half “partially understood” the online support services available to them, including video conferencing with faculty members and discussion forums.

      By the end of the semester, four in every five students said they wanted more help with the content -- yet few scheduled appointments with faculty members during office hours. Instead, one faculty member said she answered “hundreds” of e-mails with questions that were answered in the syllabus. Another instructor “noted that she had out of necessity learned to write colorful boldfaced e-mails to draw students’ attention.”

      During focus group sessions, student reported they were confused by having to interact with both San Jose State’s and Udacity’s websites, and that important e-mails arrived either too late or were flagged as spam.

      While pass rates among students outside San Jose State in the introductory statistics course were more than double those in the two math courses, the report suggests the course’s weekly assignments “helped this group of students overcome, to some degree, their lack of online preparation.”

      Research has shown that at-risk students tend to struggle in online classes, said the education consultants Michael Feldstein and Phil Hill. That disadvantaged students enrolled in SJSU Plus courses posted similarly poor pass rates suggests the spring pilot was rushed, they said.

      "We have to be careful that our sense of altruism doesn’t overcome our sense of common sense," Hill said. "If we know that at-risk students don’t tend to do well in online courses, you can’t just wish away that problem. "

      San Jose State and Udacity attempted to address many of the issues presented in the report on its summer pilot. Instead of being inundated by e-mails, students received more notifications while engaging with the course content online. The summer courses, which expanded to include psychology and computer programming, also featured orientation sessions.

      Student pass rates from the summer pilot were superior to those in the spring pilot, with two-thirds of students receiving a C or better in four of five of the courses. Yet results in the remedial math course still lagged, with less than one-third of students receiving a passing grade.

      The summer pilot also featured a vastly different student population: 53 percent of students had completed a postsecondary degree, including some doctoral degree holders. Only 15 percent were active high school students, compared to about half of the spring pilot’s students.

      Continued in article

      The Old Mix
      Udacity Experiment at San Jose State Suspended After 56% to 76% of Students Fail Final Exams ---
      http://www.openculture.com/2013/07/udacity-experiment-at-san-jose-state-suspended.html

      The New Mix
      "Scores Improve in New Round of San Jose State’s Experiment With Udacity," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 28, 2013 --- Click Here
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/scores-improve-in-new-round-of-san-jose-states-experiment-with-udacity/45997?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      Earlier this year, it looked as if a high-profile online-education experiment at San Jose State University had gone on the rocks. In the first courses the university ran with technology from Udacity, the online-learning company, students’ grades were, frankly, dismal.

      But now the pilot program appears to be back on course, buoyed by encouraging data from this summer’s trials, in which the university offered tweaked versions of the same courses to a much different mix of students.

      In the spring, the university adapted three courses for Udacity’s platform and offered them to small groups of online students for credit. The idea was to test whether Udacity’s technology and teaching methods, which the company originally developed for its massive open online courses, could be useful in a more conventional online setting.

      But the pass rates in all three Udacity-powered courses trailed far behind the rates in comparable face-to-face courses at San Jose State. The university decided not to offer any trial courses through Udacity in the fall.

      The trials that had been planned for the summer went forward, however, with tweaked versions of the same three courses, plus two others. The results have been more promising. Pass rates in each of the three repeated courses leaped upward, approaching and sometimes exceeding the pass rates in the face-to-face sections.

      For example, in the spring trial, only 25 percent of the students taking the “Udacified” version of a statistics course earned a C grade or higher; in the summer trial, 73 percent made at least a C. Only students in the adapted version of an entry-level mathematics course continued to lag well behind those in the face-to-face version on the San Jose State campus.

      The results come with an important caveat: Unlike the spring trials, which drew on San Jose State undergraduates as well as underprivileged high-school students, the summer trials were open to anybody who wanted to register.

      In an interview with The Chronicle, Sebastian Thrun, the founder of Udacity, said that half the students in the summer trials already held bachelor’s degrees and 20 percent had advanced degrees. In general, the summer students were older, with more work experience and higher levels of educational attainment. Given the difference in populations, trying to compare the pass rates for the spring and summer trials is probably not a particularly profitable exercise.

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and SMOCs ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    • Robert E Jensen

      MOOC on Teaching With MOODLE---
      http://moodle.com/moodle-launches-its-first-official-mooc-with-teachers-in-mind/

      "Blackboard Announces New MOOC Platform," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 10, 2013 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/blackboard-announces-new-mooc-platform/44687?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      EDUCAUSE --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EDUCAUSE

      It's too late for the 2013 EDUCAUSE event on MOOCs, but Many of the EDUCAUSE resources are still available

      Events

      EDUCAUSE Sprint 2013, July 30–August 1. During this free, online progam we explored the theme of Beyond MOOCs: Is IT Creating a New, Connected Age? Each day the community shared thoughts and ideas through webinars, articles, videos, and online discussions on the daily topics.

      Looking for more sessions on MOOCs? check out our other event recordings on the topic.

      Additional MOOC Resources

      • Copyright Challenges in a MOOC Environment, EDUCAUSE Brief, July 2013. This brief explores the intersection of copyright and the scale and delivery of MOOCs highlights the enduring tensions between academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and copyright law in higher education. To gain insight into the copyright concerns of MOOC stakeholders, EDUCAUSE talked with CIOs, university general counsel, provosts, copyright experts, and other higher education associations.
      • Learning and the MOOC, this is a list of MOOC related resources gathered by the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative.
      • MOOCs, Hype, and the Precarious State of Higher Ed: Futurist Bryan AlexanderJune 2013.  In this video, Howard Rheingold and Bryan Alexander discuss MOOCs, Social Media and the place of liberal education in these environments.
      • Learning and the Massive Open Online Course: A Report on the ELI Focus Session, ELI White Paper, May 2013. This report is a synthesis of the key ideas, themes, and concepts that emerged. This report also includes links to supporting focus session materials, recordings, and resources. It represents a harvesting of the key elements that we, as a teaching and learning community, need to keep in mind as we explore this new model of learning.
      • The MOOC Research Initiative (MRI) is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of a set of investments intended to explore the potential of MOOCs to extend access to postsecondary credentials through more personalized, more affordable pathways.
      • The Pedagogical Foundations of Massive Open Online Courses, First Monday, May 2013. The authors examine scholarly literature on the learning characteristics used by MOOCs to see if they do improve learning outcomes.
      • The Pedagodgy of MOOCs, May 11, 2013. This Paul Stacy blog posting provides a brief history of MOOCs, the early success in Canada and the author's own pedagogical recommendations for MOOCs.
      • What Campus Leaders Need to Know About MOOCs,” EDUCAUSE, December 2012. This brief discusses how MOOCs work, their value proposition, issues to consider, and who the key players are in this arena.
      • Laptop U: Has the Future of College Moved Online? The New Yorker, May 20th, 2013. Nathan Heller explores various MOOCs and their possible future in higher education.
      • The MOOC Model: Challenging Traditional Education, EDUCAUSE Review Online (January/February 2013), A turning point will occur in the higher education model when a MOOC-based program of study leads to a degree from an accredited institution — a trend that has already begun to develop.
      • General copyright issues for Coursera/MOOC courses, Penn Libraries created a copyright resource page for schools using the MOOC Coursera platform. This page provides an overview of special copyright considerations when using Coursera.
      • Online Courses Look for a Business Model, Wall Street Journal, January 2013. MOOC providers, Udacity, Coursera and edX, seek to generate revenue while they continue to experiment with open platforms.
      • Massive Open Online Courses as Drivers for Change, CNI Fall Meeting, December 2012. Speaker Lynne O'Brien discusses Duke University's partnership with Coursera, and their experiments with massive open online courses (MOOCs)
      • MOOCs: The Coming Revolution?, EDUCAUSE 2012 Annual Conference. This November 2012 session informs viewers about Coursera and the impact it is having on online education and altering pedagogy, provides insights into how and why one university joined that partnership.
      • The Year of the MOOC, New York Times, November 2, 2012. MOOCs have been around in one form or another for a few years as collaborative tech oriented learning events, but this is the year everyone wants in.
      • Massive Open Online Courses: Legal and Policy Issues for Research Libraries, ARL, October 22, 2012. This issue brief addresses policy questions regarding MOOCs, open access, fair use, and research libraries. 
      • What You Need to Know About MOOC's,” Chronicle of Higher EducationCHE’s collection of MOOC-related articles.
      • Challenge and Change,” EDUCAUSE Review (September/October 2012). Author George Mehaffy discusses various aspects of innovative disruption facing higher education including MOOCs.
      • A True History of the MOOC,” September 26, 2012. In this webinar panel presentation delivered to Future of Education through Blackboard Collaborate, host Steve Hargadon discusses the "true history" of the MOOC. It’s also available in mp3.
      • The MOOC Guide. This resource offers an online history of the development of the MOOC as well as a description of its major elements.
      • MOOC.CA. This MOOC-centric newsletter, authored by Stephen Downes and George Siemens, offers news and information on MOOC providers.
      • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Constituent Group. This EDUCAUSE constituent group takes a broad look at MOOCs as a paradigm of learning communities and open education.
      • Reviews for Open Online Courses is a Yelp like review system from CourseTalk for students to share their experiences with MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).
       
      MOOCs of Interest
      • Current/Future State of Higher Education 2012. Eleven organizations, including EDUCAUSE, have come together to provide a course that will evaluate the change pressures that face universities and help universities prepare for the future state of higher education.

      Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, SMOCs, and Open Sharing of Course Materials Under the OKI Programs at Prestigious Universities ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    • Robert E Jensen

      15 Free MOOCs That Are Actually Worth Your Time and Sweat ---
      http://www.businessinsider.com/best-online-courses-to-take-2013-9?op=1


      The top USA prestigious business schools are all offering free MOOCs (courses vary but they are free)
      "Stanford B-School Jumps on the MOOC Bandwagon," by Francesca Di Meglio, Bloomberg Businessweek, September 19, 2013 ---
      http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-19/stanford-b-school-jumps-on-the-mooc-bandwagon

      The Stanford Graduate School of Business is getting into the MOOC game. Its first foray into the market for “massive open online courses” is focused on retirement finance and pension policy and will be launched Oct. 14.

      “We’re living in a time when more and more people are responsible for their own retirement,” says Ranga Jayaraman, associate dean and chief information officer at the Stanford B-school. “Yet many find their retirement is not secure.”

      Joshua Rauh, the professor who developed the eight-week course, will cover topics such as how much people should save for retirement, stocks and mutual funds, and the impact of public policy debates on retirement and pensions. The course, to be offered on the NovoEd platform, will differentiate itself with high-quality video content and navigation tools that will allow students to review topics that are of the most interest to them, he adds.

      In addition to the 45-minute video lectures broken down into segments of five to seven minutes, the course includes quizzes, assignments, and an interactive forum moderated by Stanford GSB alumni, according to Stanford’s Sept. 17 announcement. Students will form teams to complete a final “capstone” project, and representatives from the top five teams will go to campus and present their projects to a panel of experts and faculty in January 2014. Stanford and the Hoover Institution will foot the bill for travel expenses.

      Based on participation in MOOCs offered by other schools at Stanford, GSB expects tens of thousands to sign up, says Jayaraman.

      GSB’s announcement comes just days after University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School announced it was putting much of its first-year MBA curriculum on the Coursera platform for free. Other business schools, including the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, also offer MOOCs.

      Continued in article

      "Google and edX Create a MOOC Site for the Rest of Us," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, Septe2mber 10, 2013 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/google-and-edx-create-a-mooc-site-for-the-rest-of-us/46413?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=

      "How to Convert a Classroom Course Into a MOOC," by Michael Fredette, Campus Technology, August 28, 2013 ---
      http://campustechnology.com/articles/2013/08/28/how-to-convert-a-classroom-course-int

      "First Trial of Crowdsourced Grading for Computer Science Homework: The latest online crowdsourcing tool allows students to grade their classmates’ homework and receive credit for the effort they put in ," MIT's Technology Review, September 4, 2013 --- Click Here
      http://www.technologyreview.com/view/519001/first-trial-of-crowdsourced-grading-for-computer-science-homework/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130904

      Train Your Brain This Fall with Free Online Courses, eBooks, Audio Books, Language Lessons & More ---
      http://www.openculture.com/2013/09/train-your-brain-this-fall-with-free-online-courses-ebooks-audio-books-language-lessons-more.html
      How to find hundreds of free MOOCs
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI 

      "MIT Will Offer MOOC Curricula, Not Just Single Courses, on edX," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 18, 2013 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/mit-will-offer-mooc-curricula-not-just-single-courses-on-edx/46715

      MOOC companies are hardly universities unto themselves, but now a provider wants to move beyond offering one-off courses.

      MITx, a division of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that offers courses on the nonprofit edX’s platform, announced on Tuesday that it would soon offer special certificates to students who completed a prescribed sequence of massive open online courses from MIT. The sequences will be called XSeries.

      MIT plans to offer its first XSeries sequence, Foundations of Computer Science, beginning this fall. The computer-science series will consist of seven courses that together “will cover content equivalent to two to four traditional residential courses and take between six months and two years to complete,” according to a news release.

      EdX is working with SoftwareSecure, a major player in the online-proctoring industry, to make sure that students who pass each course in an XSeries are who they say they are and aren’t cheating. The fee for a proctored final examination is roughly $100 per course, meaning students who aim to earn XSeries certificates can expect to pay about $700 each, said Anant Agarwal, president of edX.

      The failure of MOOCs to penetrate the traditional system of credits and degrees has made the fate of “alternative credentials” like XSeries certificates more interesting.

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's threads on free courses and course materials from prestigious universities ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

      "Wharton (at Penn) Puts First-Year MBA Courses Online for Free," by Louis Lavelle, Bloomberg Businessweek, September 13, 2013 ---
      http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-13/wharton-puts-first-year-mba-courses-online-for-free

      Getting a Wharton MBA involves taking off from work for two years, moving to Philadelphia, and spending about $200,000 on tuition and expenses. Now, with the addition of three new courses on the online learning platform Coursera, you can get much of the course content for free.

      While you won’t get the full Wharton on-campus experience—or an internship, career services, or alumni network, for that matter—the new courses in financial accounting, marketing, and corporate finance duplicate much of what you would learn during your first year at the elite business school, says Don Huesman, managing director of the innovation group at Wharton.

      A fourth course in operations management that’s been offered since September rounds out thefoundation series.” Along with five existing electives, which include courses on sports business and health care, the new offerings make it possible to learn much of what students in Wharton’s full-time MBA program learn, and from the same professors. All nine courses are massive open online courses, or MOOCs, expected to attract students from around the world.

      Continued in article

      Jensen Comment
      The 2013 graduating MBA class had more females than males.

      The Wharton MBA Program is nearly always ranked in the Top Five by US News.

      Bob Jensen's threads on free courses and course materials from prestigious universities ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

      "The Full Report on Udacity Experiment (at San Jose State)," by Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, September 12, 2013 ---
      http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/09/12/after-weeks-delays-san-jose-state-u-releases-research-report-online-courses

      San Jose State University on Wednesday quietly released the full research report on the for-credit online courses it offered this spring through the online education company Udacity. The report, marked by delays and procedural setbacks, suggests it may be difficult for the university to deliver online education in this format to the students who need it most.

      The report's release lands on the opposite end of the spectrum from the hype generated in January, when university officials, flanked by the Udacity CEO Sebastian Thrun and California Governor Jerry Brown, unveiled the project during a 45-minute press conference. The pilot project, featuring two math courses and one statistics course, aimed to bring high-quality education to students for a fraction of the cost of the university's normal tuition. Wednesday's report went live on the university’s website sometime before noon Pacific time, appearing with little fanfare on the research page of the principal investigator for the project, Elaine D. Collins. Collins serves as associate dean in the College of Science.

      The report provides a long-awaited look into how the pilot project has fared. The initials results from the spring pilot led the university to put its partnership with Udacity on “pause” for the fall semester. Last month, the university released results from the summer pilot, showing increased retention and student pass rates. However, those reports barely scratched the surface of the data the university collected during the project.

      The report, funded by the National Science Foundation, details the setbacks the research team encountered as it began to evaluate results from the spring pilot project. In particular, it took months to obtain usable data from Udacity that tracked how students used instructional resources and accessed support services. The research team then had to spend several weeks awaiting clarifications and corrections to resolve accuracy questions.

      “The result ... is that the research lagged behind the implementation whereas, ideally, it would be running alongside, providing just-in-time information about what works and where improvements can be made,” the report reads.

      The Udacity team contested the research team's findings in a blog post. They said they received the first data request on May 31, which was modified on June 3. Udacity submitted the data on June 28. The RP Group asked Udacity to reformat the data on July 25, which was performed by the next day.

      "[T]he reason for this is it’s the first time we’ve collaborated with an external entity," Thrun said. "Whatever picture is being drawn here, I don’t understand why this is being said."

      Ellen Junn, provost at San Jose State, declined to comment on Wednesday.

      Another data source, student responses to three surveys, also proved less useful than anticipated. The spring pilot produced just 213 students whose results could be used for statistical purposes -- the remaining 61 received an incomplete grade, dropped a course or were removed after data were pruned for inconsistencies. Survey response rates ranged from 32 to 34 percent, and the research team found “significant differences” between those who responded and the general student population.

      “Most importantly, successful students were overrepresented among the survey population and almost no students from the partner high school completed the surveys,” the report reads.

      The surveys were further complicated by internal delays. The spring pilot began before San Jose State’s institutional review board could approve the project, which meant the first survey, billed as an entry survey, was not conducted until the fifth week of classes.

      The research team consisted of members from the Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges and Sutee Sujitparapitaya, associate vice president for institutional research at San Jose State. Despite the complications, the report concludes the results provide pointers to how students enrolled in SJSU Plus courses learn.

      “[M]easures of student effort eclipse all other variables examined in the study, including demographic descriptions of the students, course subject matter and student use of support services,” the report reads. That means students who took charge of their own education and submitted more problem sets, logged in more often and watched more videos than the course mean were more likely to succeed than their peers were.

      The importance of student effort highlights the pilot project’s difficulties in targeting disadvantaged students, who Udacity's online support providers early on felt “lacked adequate preparation for the courses and were very unlikely to succeed.”

      Results from the first survey showed 39 percent of students had never before taken an online course. The unfamiliarity with the new platform meant less than half “partially understood” the online support services available to them, including video conferencing with faculty members and discussion forums.

      By the end of the semester, four in every five students said they wanted more help with the content -- yet few scheduled appointments with faculty members during office hours. Instead, one faculty member said she answered “hundreds” of e-mails with questions that were answered in the syllabus. Another instructor “noted that she had out of necessity learned to write colorful boldfaced e-mails to draw students’ attention.”

      During focus group sessions, student reported they were confused by having to interact with both San Jose State’s and Udacity’s websites, and that important e-mails arrived either too late or were flagged as spam.

      While pass rates among students outside San Jose State in the introductory statistics course were more than double those in the two math courses, the report suggests the course’s weekly assignments “helped this group of students overcome, to some degree, their lack of online preparation.”

      Research has shown that at-risk students tend to struggle in online classes, said the education consultants Michael Feldstein and Phil Hill. That disadvantaged students enrolled in SJSU Plus courses posted similarly poor pass rates suggests the spring pilot was rushed, they said.

      "We have to be careful that our sense of altruism doesn’t overcome our sense of common sense," Hill said. "If we know that at-risk students don’t tend to do well in online courses, you can’t just wish away that problem. "

      San Jose State and Udacity attempted to address many of the issues presented in the report on its summer pilot. Instead of being inundated by e-mails, students received more notifications while engaging with the course content online. The summer courses, which expanded to include psychology and computer programming, also featured orientation sessions.

      Student pass rates from the summer pilot were superior to those in the spring pilot, with two-thirds of students receiving a C or better in four of five of the courses. Yet results in the remedial math course still lagged, with less than one-third of students receiving a passing grade.

      The summer pilot also featured a vastly different student population: 53 percent of students had completed a postsecondary degree, including some doctoral degree holders. Only 15 percent were active high school students, compared to about half of the spring pilot’s students.

      Continued in article

      The Old Mix
      Udacity Experiment at San Jose State Suspended After 56% to 76% of Students Fail Final Exams ---
      http://www.openculture.com/2013/07/udacity-experiment-at-san-jose-state-suspended.html

      The New Mix
      "Scores Improve in New Round of San Jose State’s Experiment With Udacity," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 28, 2013 --- Click Here
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/scores-improve-in-new-round-of-san-jose-states-experiment-with-udacity/45997?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      Earlier this year, it looked as if a high-profile online-education experiment at San Jose State University had gone on the rocks. In the first courses the university ran with technology from Udacity, the online-learning company, students’ grades were, frankly, dismal.

      But now the pilot program appears to be back on course, buoyed by encouraging data from this summer’s trials, in which the university offered tweaked versions of the same courses to a much different mix of students.

      In the spring, the university adapted three courses for Udacity’s platform and offered them to small groups of online students for credit. The idea was to test whether Udacity’s technology and teaching methods, which the company originally developed for its massive open online courses, could be useful in a more conventional online setting.

      But the pass rates in all three Udacity-powered courses trailed far behind the rates in comparable face-to-face courses at San Jose State. The university decided not to offer any trial courses through Udacity in the fall.

      The trials that had been planned for the summer went forward, however, with tweaked versions of the same three courses, plus two others. The results have been more promising. Pass rates in each of the three repeated courses leaped upward, approaching and sometimes exceeding the pass rates in the face-to-face sections.

      For example, in the spring trial, only 25 percent of the students taking the “Udacified” version of a statistics course earned a C grade or higher; in the summer trial, 73 percent made at least a C. Only students in the adapted version of an entry-level mathematics course continued to lag well behind those in the face-to-face version on the San Jose State campus.

      The results come with an important caveat: Unlike the spring trials, which drew on San Jose State undergraduates as well as underprivileged high-school students, the summer trials were open to anybody who wanted to register.

      In an interview with The Chronicle, Sebastian Thrun, the founder of Udacity, said that half the students in the summer trials already held bachelor’s degrees and 20 percent had advanced degrees. In general, the summer students were older, with more work experience and higher levels of educational attainment. Given the difference in populations, trying to compare the pass rates for the spring and summer trials is probably not a particularly profitable exercise.

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and SMOCs ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


      MOOC on Teaching With MOODLE---
      http://moodle.com/moodle-launches-its-first-official-mooc-with-teachers-in-mind/

      "Blackboard Announces New MOOC Platform," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 10, 2013 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/blackboard-announces-new-mooc-platform/44687?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      EDUCAUSE --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EDUCAUSE

      It's too late for the 2013 EDUCAUSE event on MOOCs, but Many of the EDUCAUSE resources are still available

      Events

      EDUCAUSE Sprint 2013, July 30–August 1. During this free, online progam we explored the theme of Beyond MOOCs: Is IT Creating a New, Connected Age? Each day the community shared thoughts and ideas through webinars, articles, videos, and online discussions on the daily topics.

      Looking for more sessions on MOOCs? check out our other event recordings on the topic.

      Additional MOOC Resources

      • Copyright Challenges in a MOOC Environment, EDUCAUSE Brief, July 2013. This brief explores the intersection of copyright and the scale and delivery of MOOCs highlights the enduring tensions between academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and copyright law in higher education. To gain insight into the copyright concerns of MOOC stakeholders, EDUCAUSE talked with CIOs, university general counsel, provosts, copyright experts, and other higher education associations.
      • Learning and the MOOC, this is a list of MOOC related resources gathered by the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative.
      • MOOCs, Hype, and the Precarious State of Higher Ed: Futurist Bryan AlexanderJune 2013.  In this video, Howard Rheingold and Bryan Alexander discuss MOOCs, Social Media and the place of liberal education in these environments.
      • Learning and the Massive Open Online Course: A Report on the ELI Focus Session, ELI White Paper, May 2013. This report is a synthesis of the key ideas, themes, and concepts that emerged. This report also includes links to supporting focus session materials, recordings, and resources. It represents a harvesting of the key elements that we, as a teaching and learning community, need to keep in mind as we explore this new model of learning.
      • The MOOC Research Initiative (MRI) is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of a set of investments intended to explore the potential of MOOCs to extend access to postsecondary credentials through more personalized, more affordable pathways.
      • The Pedagogical Foundations of Massive Open Online Courses, First Monday, May 2013. The authors examine scholarly literature on the learning characteristics used by MOOCs to see if they do improve learning outcomes.
      • The Pedagodgy of MOOCs, May 11, 2013. This Paul Stacy blog posting provides a brief history of MOOCs, the early success in Canada and the author's own pedagogical recommendations for MOOCs.
      • What Campus Leaders Need to Know About MOOCs,” EDUCAUSE, December 2012. This brief discusses how MOOCs work, their value proposition, issues to consider, and who the key players are in this arena.
      • Laptop U: Has the Future of College Moved Online? The New Yorker, May 20th, 2013. Nathan Heller explores various MOOCs and their possible future in higher education.
      • The MOOC Model: Challenging Traditional Education, EDUCAUSE Review Online (January/February 2013), A turning point will occur in the higher education model when a MOOC-based program of study leads to a degree from an accredited institution — a trend that has already begun to develop.
      • General copyright issues for Coursera/MOOC courses, Penn Libraries created a copyright resource page for schools using the MOOC Coursera platform. This page provides an overview of special copyright considerations when using Coursera.
      • Online Courses Look for a Business Model, Wall Street Journal, January 2013. MOOC providers, Udacity, Coursera and edX, seek to generate revenue while they continue to experiment with open platforms.
      • Massive Open Online Courses as Drivers for Change, CNI Fall Meeting, December 2012. Speaker Lynne O'Brien discusses Duke University's partnership with Coursera, and their experiments with massive open online courses (MOOCs)
      • MOOCs: The Coming Revolution?, EDUCAUSE 2012 Annual Conference. This November 2012 session informs viewers about Coursera and the impact it is having on online education and altering pedagogy, provides insights into how and why one university joined that partnership.
      • The Year of the MOOC, New York Times, November 2, 2012. MOOCs have been around in one form or another for a few years as collaborative tech oriented learning events, but this is the year everyone wants in.
      • Massive Open Online Courses: Legal and Policy Issues for Research Libraries, ARL, October 22, 2012. This issue brief addresses policy questions regarding MOOCs, open access, fair use, and research libraries. 
      • What You Need to Know About MOOC's,” Chronicle of Higher EducationCHE’s collection of MOOC-related articles.
      • Challenge and Change,” EDUCAUSE Review (September/October 2012). Author George Mehaffy discusses various aspects of innovative disruption facing higher education including MOOCs.
      • A True History of the MOOC,” September 26, 2012. In this webinar panel presentation delivered to Future of Education through Blackboard Collaborate, host Steve Hargadon discusses the "true history" of the MOOC. It’s also available in mp3.
      • The MOOC Guide. This resource offers an online history of the development of the MOOC as well as a description of its major elements.
      • MOOC.CA. This MOOC-centric newsletter, authored by Stephen Downes and George Siemens, offers news and information on MOOC providers.
      • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Constituent Group. This EDUCAUSE constituent group takes a broad look at MOOCs as a paradigm of learning communities and open education.
      • Reviews for Open Online Courses is a Yelp like review system from CourseTalk for students to share their experiences with MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).
       
      MOOCs of Interest
      • Current/Future State of Higher Education 2012. Eleven organizations, including EDUCAUSE, have come together to provide a course that will evaluate the change pressures that face universities and help universities prepare for the future state of higher education.

      Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, SMOCs, and Open Sharing of Course Materials Under the OKI Programs at Prestigious Universities ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    • Robert E Jensen

      MOOCs Are Largely Reaching Privileged Learners, Survey Finds
      More than 80 percent of respondents had a two- or four-year degree, and 44 percent had some graduate education, according to a poll of 35,000 students taking the online courses ---
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/moocs-are-reaching-only-privileged-learners-survey-finds/48567?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      Jensen Comment
      This is to be expected since most MOOC courses to date are highly specialized (e.g., readings of obscure poets or C++ software coding) in relatively advanced courses. The first MOOC course, a course from computer scientists at Stanford, was a technical course in artificial intelligence. The MOOC model is not really a good model for introductory learners who typically need more hand holding. This does not mean that distance education is not suitable for hand holding --- in many ways online learning is more suited to hand holding since instructors may be instantly available 10 hours a day via instant messaging in distance education courses having less than 25 students. But MOOC courses with 24,615 students are not conducive to hand holding of any one of those 24,615 students enrolled in the course.

      The problem for students needing hand holding is that class sizes must be small onsite or online for hand holding. Small classes generally mean fees. MOOCs are free to date because prestigious universities are willing to tap endowment funds to pay for the relatively low cost for each of 24,615 students per course. If students want transcript credits for taking MOOC courses, fees kick in for the competency-based examination and grading services.

      Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and other free course videos and materials from prestigious universities ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
      This includes links if you want to sign up for one of the hundreds of free MOOCs or the wonderful Khan Academy videos.

    • Robert E Jensen

      180 MOOCs to Start the 2014 New Year (Is This the Crest of the Wave?) ---
      http://www.openculture.com/2014/01/180-moocs-to-start-the-new-year.html

      800 Free MOOCs from Great Universities ---
      http://www.openculture.com/free_certificate_courses

      MOOC FAQ --- http://www.openculture.com/mooc_faq

      Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, including instructions on how to sign up for one ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    • Robert E Jensen

      MOOC --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOOCs

      180 MOOCs to Start the 2014 New Year (Is This the Crest of the Wave?) ---
      http://www.openculture.com/2014/01/180-moocs-to-start-the-new-year.html

      800 Free MOOCs from Great Universities ---
      http://www.openculture.com/free_certificate_courses

      MOOC FAQ --- http://www.openculture.com/mooc_faq

      "Harvard and MIT Release Visualization Tools for Trove of MOOC Data," Chronicle of Higher Education, February 20, 2014 --- Click Here
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/harvard-and-mit-release-visualization-tools-for-trove-of-mooc-data/50631?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

      Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have released a set of open-source visualization tools for working with a rich trove of data from more than a million people registered for 17 of the two institutions’ massive open online courses, which are offered through their edX platform.

      The tools let users see and work with “near real-time” information about course registrants—minus personally identifying details—from 193 countries. A Harvard news release says the tools “showcase the potential promise” of data generated by MOOCs. The aggregated data sets that the tools use can be also downloaded.

      The suite of tools, named Insights, was created by Sergiy Nesterko, a research fellow in HarvardX, the university’s instructional-technology office, and Daniel Seaton, a postdoctoral research fellow at MIT’s Office of Digital Learning. Mr. Nesterko said the tools “can help to guide instruction while courses are running and deepen our understanding of the impact of courses after they are complete.”

      The Harvard tools are here, while those for MIT are here.

      Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and open sharing learning materials in general ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

      Visualization of Multivariate Data (including faces) ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/352wpvisual/000datavisualization.htm

       

    • Robert E Jensen

      A Big List of 875 Free Courses From Top Universities: 27,000 Hours of Audio/Video Lectures ---
      http://www.openculture.com/2014/03/a-big-list-of-875-free-courses-from-top-universities-27000-hours-of-audiovideo-lectures.html

      MOOC FAQ --- http://www.openculture.com/mooc_faq

      "Harvard and MIT Release Visualization Tools for Trove of MOOC Data," Chronicle of Higher Education, February 20, 2014 --- Click Here
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/harvard-and-mit-release-visualization-tools-for-trove-of-mooc-data/50631?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

      Bob Jensen's threads on how to sign up for free MOOCs ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

       

      Jensen Comment
      I don't advise MOOC courses for "students" who do not have some prerequisites in the subject matter. For example, the first MOOC course ever invented was filmed live in an artificial intelligence course for computer science majors at Stanford University. These students were not first year students who had never taken computer science courses.

      Interestingly students in that course were given the option of attending live classes or MOOC classes. After several weeks the majority of students opted for the MOOC classes. Of course at Stanford the students were graded on assignments and examinations since they were getting course credit.

      Of-campus MOOC students were not given an option to receive course credit. They just learned on their own. There are now options in some MOOC courses to take competency-based examinations for credit, although these usually do not involve the course instructors and are not free like the courses themselves. MOOC courses themselves by definition are free, unlike most other distance education courses.

      200 Free Documentaries: A Super Rich List of Finely-Crafted Documentaries on the Web ---
      https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/#inbox/144a6f44e0b82d12