Online Learning Update

August 26, 2014

Measuring the impact of a MOOC course can be complicated

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by Eric Schulzke, Deseret News

Brandon Alcorn, Gayle Christensen and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, all from the University of Pennsylvannia, argue in The Atlantic that critiques based on completion rate miss the point, and that MOOCs serve a valuable function even when the course is not completed. Using data from 1.8 million students enrolled in MOOCs offered by U. Penn, the authors conclude that “that students treat MOOCs like a buffet, sampling the material according to their interests and goals.” Some students, they find, are merely sampling out of curiosity, while others are primarily interested in discussion forums that link them to others with similar interests.

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