Study Opens Window Into How Students Hunt for Educational Content Online: But what are they finding?

May 9, 2012 at 8:49 am 1 comment

This reminds me of Brian Dorn’s work, and points out a weakness of this study.  Brian went out to check if the knowledge that the students needed was actually in the places where they looked.  Morgan’s study is telling us where they’re looking.  But it’s not telling us what the students are learning.

It’s nothing new to hear that students supplement their studies with other universities’ online lecture videos. But Ms. Morgan’s research—backed by the National Science Foundation, based on 14 focus-group interviews at a range of colleges, and buttressed by a large online survey going on now—paints a broader picture of how they’re finding content, where they’re getting it, and why they’re using it.

Ms. Morgan borrows the phrase “free-range learning” to describe students’ behavior, and she finds that they generally shop around for content in places educators would endorse. Students seem most favorably inclined to materials from other universities. They mention lecture videos from Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology far more than the widely publicized Khan Academy, she says. If they’re on a pre-med or health-science track, they prefer recognized “brands” like the Mayo Clinic. Students often seek this outside content due to dissatisfaction with their own professors, Ms. Morgan says.

via ‘Free-Range Learners’: Study Opens Window Into How Students Hunt for Educational Content Online – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

How can we teach multiple CS1’s? Learning is about the failure and struggle, not the success

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jack Toole  |  May 9, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    My impression was that Khan Academy is currently more targeted towards a high-school audience. They have a ton of great videos for high-school level content, and some for introductory college material, but once you get past the introductory college course in a topic, there seemed to be a sharp decline in material. As a student, when I looked there to brush up my linear algebra, I didn’t find the videos in-depth enough to help me where I was struggling. When I look at the Computer Science section, the videos are all CS1 topics. This may not be true in all subjects (based on a cursory scan of the page, they seem to have a huge archive of art history videos, as well as finance and differential equations, all of which probably go well beyond my high school education).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10,184 other subscribers


Recent Posts

Blog Stats

  • 2,048,345 hits
May 2012

CS Teaching Tips

%d bloggers like this: