edX offers a CS1 MOOC via Massachusetts community colleges
Definitely the most interesting MOOC experiment I’ve seen in the latest batches — an edX CS1 aimed at community college students, and offered in a blended format. I very much hope that they do good assessment here. If MOOCs are going to serve as an alternative to face-to-face classes for the majority of students, they have to work at the community college level and have better than face-to-face retention rates. Retention (and completion) rates are too low already in community colleges. If MOOCs are going to be part of a solution, part of making education better, then they need to have high completion rates.
The fast-moving world of online education, where anyone can take classes at a world-famous university, is making a new foray into the community college system, with a personal twist.
In a partnership billed as the first of its kind, the online education provider edX plans to announce Monday that it has teamed up with two Massachusetts community colleges to offer computer science classes that will combine virtual and classroom instruction.
Beginning next term, Bunker Hill and MassBay community colleges will offer versions of an online MIT course that will be supplemented with on-campus classes. Those classes, to be taught by instructors at the two-year schools, will give students a chance to review the online material and receive personal help.
“This allows for more one-to-one faculty mentoring” than exclusively online courses, said John O’Donnell, president of MassBay Community College in Wellesley. O’Donnell added that the schools’ involvement allows edX “to test its course content on a broader range of students.”
Students will pay the same amount they would for a standard class.