Grades are in for a pioneering free Johns Hopkins online class: Adding more to the public good
Some more statistics from another Coursera course. The final comments are interesting: Through MOOCs, “everyone can get at least some fraction of what we believe is fundamental knowledge.” That’s true. The interesting question is whether MOOCs get more students a fraction that they didn’t have previously (see the edX data about 80% repeating the course) than a similar face-to-face course. It’s not obvious to me either way — there are certainly results that have us questioning the effectiveness of our face-to-face classes. While MOOCs lead to few finishing, maybe those that do finish learn more than in a face-to-face class, and maybe overall (amount of learning across number of students), MOOCs contribute more to the public good?
Read on for the final metrics on Caffo’s class and a few thoughts from the associate professor at the university’s school of public health.
Number of students who signed up for Caffo’s class: 15,930.
Number who ordinarily sign up for the class when it is taught solely on campus in Baltimore: a few dozen.
Active users in the final week of the class: 2,778
Total unique visitors who watched Caffo’s video lectures: 8,380
Total who submitted a quiz: 2,882
Total who submitted homework: 2,492
Total who passed the course (averaging 70 percent or better on quizzes): 748
Total who passed with distinction (averaging 90 percent or better): 447
And here is Caffo’s take:
“Regardless of how MOOCs wind up, it is awesome to be a professor in a time where teaching is the hottest topic in higher education at research-driven universities. I also have a lot of sympathy for democratizing education and information. Very few people will have the privilege of a Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health education. But, with these efforts [including free online initiatives such as Open Courseware, iTunes U, Coursera] everyone can get at least some fraction of what we believe is fundamental knowledge for attacking the world’s public health problems.”