Archive for March 13, 2013

Adaptability to Online Learning: Differences Across Types of Students and Academic Subject Areas

A new study supports the concern that MOOCs are a particularly poor fit for underprepared students, the ones most likely to be taking remedial courses. It relates to the issues raised yesterday about the difficulty of covering all aptitudes and backgrounds with a single class.

Using a dataset containing nearly 500,000 courses taken by over 40,000 community and technical college students in Washington State, this study examines how well students adapt to the online environment in terms of their ability to persist and earn strong grades in online courses relative to their ability to do so in face-to-face courses. While all types of students in the study suffered decrements in performance in online courses, some struggled more than others to adapt: males, younger students, Black students, and students with lower grade point averages. In particular, students struggled in subject areas such as English and social science, which was due in part to negative peer effects in these online courses.

via Adaptability to Online Learning: Differences Across Types of Students and Academic Subject Areas.

March 13, 2013 at 1:38 am Leave a comment

A Better Name for MOOCs: Very Low teacher/student Ratio Courses (VLRCs) | The Next Bison: Social Computing and Culture

Amy Bruckman asks us to change our language: It’s not MOOCs, it’s VLRCs.  Her argument makes sense to me.

Free online classes with large numbers of enrolled students are lately being called “Massively Open Online Courses” (MOOCs).  As writers like George Lakoff have eloquently explained, the words we use to describe a phenomenon shape how we think about them.  I would like to suggest that a more accurate name than “MOOCs” is “Very Low teacher/student Ratio Courses” or “VLRCs” (pronounced “vlercs”).

via A Better Name for MOOCs: Very Low teacher/student Ratio Courses (VLRCs) | The Next Bison: Social Computing and Culture.

March 13, 2013 at 1:26 am Leave a comment


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