Archive for June 21, 2013

Data from edX’s first course offer preliminary insights into online learning

Really interesting — the data are starting to appear on what’s going on in MOOCs.  I wouldn’t have predicted differences in media preferences in homework vs. exam.

In their analysis of 6.002x resource usage, Pritchard and RELATE postdocs tallied clickstream data, such as where and when users clicked on videos, discussion threads, tutorials or textbook pages when working on homework, in comparison to when they were taking the midterm or final exam.

Interestingly, the group found that in completing homework assignments, users spent more time on video lectures more than any other resource. However, during an exam, students referred most to the online textbook, which they virtually ignored when doing homework. The data, although preliminary, illustrate how students may use different online strategies to solve homework versus exam problems.

While use of the discussion forum was not required in the course, the researchers found it to be the most popular resource for students completing homework assignments. In fact, 90 percent of the clickstream activity on the forum came from users who viewed existing threads without posting comments.

via Data from edX’s first course offer preliminary insights into online learning – MIT News Office.

June 21, 2013 at 1:33 am 8 comments

Why women leave academia and why universities should be worried

Fascinating study  — not surprising, but worthwhile noting.  This work was done in Chemistry, so it bears replication in other STEM disciplines.  Some on the SIGCSE-Members list were wondering, “Is this just for research-oriented universities?  Or for teaching-oriented universities, too?”  In our work interviewing faculty as part of our work in GaComputes and DCCE, we heard surprisingly similar concerns at both kinds of institutions.  The faculty at schools with a teaching mission told us that their tenure was based on research publications, and they felt similar levels of stress.

Young women scientists leave academia in far greater numbers than men for three reasons. During their time as PhD candidates, large numbers of women conclude that (i) the characteristics of academic careers are unappealing, (ii) the impediments they will encounter are disproportionate, and (iii) the sacrifices they will have to make are great.

via Why women leave academia and why universities should be worried | Higher Education Network | Guardian Professional.

June 21, 2013 at 1:10 am 1 comment


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