I really enjoyed your article, I am currently taking one of Penn States online classes for my major and I definitely have an opinion on it. Introduction to Near Eastern Art and Archaeology – Free Online Video – Free iTunes Video – Dana D.
Economic History of the Soviet Union – Free Online Video – Guinevere Liberty Nell, Marginal Revolution U. When campus president Wallace Loh walked into Juan Uriagereka's office last August, he got right to the point.
Uriagereka, associate provost for faculty affairs at the University of Maryland in College Park, knew exactly what his boss meant. MOOCs had exploded into the academic consciousness in summer 2011, when a free artificial-intelligence course offered by Stanford University in California attracted 160,000 students from around the world — 23,000 of whom finished it. When MOOCs came along, says Chris Dede, who studies educational technologies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, they promised to solve these problems by radically expanding the reach of existing campuses while streamlining the workload for educators — and universities seized on them as the next big thing. There is reason to hope that this is a positive development, says Roy Pea, who heads a Stanford center that studies how people use technology.
MOOC companies still face challenges, such as dealing with low course-completion rates and proving that they can make profit. MOOCs are largely a product of one corridor in the Stanford computer-science department, where the offices of Andrew Ng, Daphne Koller and Sebastian Thrun are just a few steps apart. One of the many people he talked to about his work was Koller, who began developing her own online-education system in 2009. Koller also wanted to incorporate insights from the many studies showing that passively listening to a lecture is a terrible way to learn (F.
Finally, to encourage greater interaction among the students themselves, Koller took a cue from social-networking sites such as Facebook and gave her system an online discussion forum. By early 2011, Ng and Koller were planning to demonstrate the platform on campus, and other faculty members were paying attention. In response, Ng took Koller's machine-learning course public using their platform, while department chair Jennifer Widom did the same with a database course. Anant Agarwal, former head of the computer science and artificial-intelligence laboratory at MIT, had been experimenting with online learning for a decade, developing an electric-circuit simulation package called WebSim that tried to give online students an effective substitute for hands-on laboratory experience. At the same time, the term MOOCs, which had been circulating quietly in educational circles since it was coined in 2008, took off. The companies acknowledge that completion rates are a concern and that their platforms are still works in progress. Other possibilities include profiting from in-course mentoring services, career counseling — and charging universities for licensing. Analytics are another example of the Silicon Valley style, potentially allowing the MOOC companies to do for education what Internet giants such as Google or Amazon have done for marketing. The company is constantly using these data as feedback, says Koller, both for refining the platform's user interface and for improving the course content. What remains to be seen is how higher education will change in response to the new technology.
Khan Academy Founder Sal Khan and Amherst College President Biddy Martin speak during the New York Times' Schools For Tomorrow Conference on Sept. Khan Academy is one of the most respected online education platforms in the country, and it will enjoy exclusive early access to the new SAT, something that’s never been done before in the history of the College Board, which makes the test. Research has shown that students who take SAT review classes only improve their scores by small margins.
Which is a reminder of why we should still be excited about the possibilities of free online education, even though in recent years, the most breathless claims we’ve heard about it have turned out to be just hype. It may be too early to tell whether or not these sorts of resources are truly an upgrade over traditional learning resources like ye olde ink-and-paper textbooks.
This study is observational, so researchers cannot prove that learning through an online class is better than learning in a traditional classroom setting. As I mentioned previously, every student has their own personal preference on how they enjoy learning. This course focuses on grammar techniques and rules and I have found that I hated the course at the beginning because it was just another course that I had tests and homework in, but now I’m finding that teaching myself the material has been good for me. I love the topic since I have an online and hybrid class this semester that I am not to found of.


There is certainly a learning curve and I found that for the first few weeks me and some others in the class were all experiencing difficulty and were frustrated because we could not contact anyone about it, or we tried and received no response. Campus administrators around the world had been buzzing for months about massive open online courses, or MOOCs: Internet-based teaching programs designed to handle thousands of students simultaneously, in part using the tactics of social-networking websites. MOOCs, which have incorporated decades of research on how students learn best, could free faculty members from the drudgery of repetitive introductory lectures. But they are also the fruit of research dating back to at least the 1990s, when the explosive worldwide growth of the Internet inspired a multitude of efforts to exploit it for education. Following a path blazed by the open-source software movement, and by earlier open-source education initiatives, he started a project to post online free lecture videos and handouts for ten of Stanford's most popular engineering courses. Whereas Ng looked outwards, Koller wanted to look inwards and reform Stanford's teaching on-campus. In late 2010, they started work on a software platform that would support discussion forums, video feeds and all the other basic services of an online course, so that an instructor only had to provide the content. Not only is such a system essential to scaling up learning, says Koller, but it also turns out to be a valuable learning experience. Among them was Thrun, a robotics researcher who was splitting his time between Stanford and Google in Mountain View, where he worked on the development of driverless cars.
Arguing that most professors don't have a clue about how to exploit the online medium, he and his colleagues elected to develop their courses in-house, working with education experts to make the pedagogy as effective as possible. In December 2011, inspired by goings on at Stanford, he launched MITx: an independent, not-for-profit company that would offer massive online courses from MIT on an open-source basis. Media accounts boomed, and company principals were soon giving talks at the popular Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conferences and the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
For example, the 7,200 students who completed Agarwal's electric-circuits MOOC in spring 2012 included an 81-year-old man, a single mother with two children, and a 15-year-old prodigy from Mongolia who got a perfect score on the final exam.
Completion has been a problem for distance learning ever since the first correspondence courses in the nineteenth century, says Dede.
In October 2012, for example, edX licensed a circuit-theory MOOC designed by Agarwal to San Jose State University in California, where it was used as the online component of a flipped classroom experience. If 90% of the students start stumbling over the review exercises for a certain lecture, for example, then maybe it is time to revise that lecture.
They have also studied what happens after graduation: the higher earnings and other benefits that college confers, on average, over a lifetime. That is, they mostly take their existing structures and practices as given, and look to MOOCs and other online technologies as a way to do things more cheaply.
The Internet is not going to replace the traditional college experience (not in the near or medium-term future, anyway).
I feel as if I would not be motivated to teach myself the material and I think it would be difficult to remember due dates of exams and other assignments. The actually of the situation was due to teacher error, she had family issues and neglected to inform anyone so for weeks nobody was grading the class properly. To supplement video lectures, much of the learning comes from online comments, questions and discussions.
Colleges and universities are also under tremendous financial pressure, especially in the United States, where rocketing tuition fees and ever-expanding student debt have resulted in a backlash from politicians, parents and students demanding to know what their money is going towards. His approach was fairly crude, he admits: just record the lectures, put them online and hope for the best.
But making social interaction work on a large scale turned out to be a research project of its own, says Ng. And experiments have shown that if the criteria are spelled out clearly, grades given by the students correlate strongly with those given by the teacher (R. Udacity's Introduction to Computer Science MOOC, currently its most popular, has enrolled more than 270,000 students.
In the future, the companies might also offer full university course credits for a fee; they are already working with accreditation agencies to arrange that. Yes, the major universities will extend their courses beyond their own campuses; the MOOCs have already shown them that they can do so with relatively little effort and potentially large profits.
But experience with earlier innovations such as personal computing shows the limits of that approach, he says: real gains in the productivity and effectiveness of learning will not come until universities radically reshape those structures and practices to take full advantage of the technology. Test prep is a billion-dollar industry, and presumably some families are stretching themselves financially to pay for courses that may or may not offer much value, out of a vague sense that to do otherwise would shortchange their children.


But certain, secondary elements of higher education are gradually being digitized for profit.
I understand that everyone’s minds work differently and some people enjoy taking online classes.
One group completed the traditional course while the other group completed a hybrid version.
If you have never taken an online class before, Penn State has recently released an online survey that students can complete to figure out if they are ready to take an online class or not. I personally learn by doing and working in groups so I prefer the traditional feel rather than online when I tend to do everything last minute because it isn’t on my mind like the classes that I actually physically go to. But we received a new teacher and I have found that being forced to sit down and teach myself material has really improved my learning of the subject! But with the relentless advance of technologies such as broadband, social networking and smart phones, researchers' interest continued to grow. But to his astonishment, strangers started coming up to him and saying, “Are you Professor Ng? For example, standard online discussion forums are a fine way to bring communities together — for 100 or so users. This was the course that registered 160,000 people from 195 countries after just one public announcement, a post to an artificial-intelligence mailing list. Or you can start with a system that's rubbish, experiment and build a better one with feedback. In this particular experiment, he adds, the San Jose course's usual 40% failure rate fell to 9%. Any quality, low-cost alternative to the Princeton Review or Kaplan (which is owned by Slate’s parent company, Graham Holdings), would be progress. I am in the middle of deciding if I should take an online class or not and I was actually surprised with the research that I found. The hybrid version consisted of an online class with an in-class instruction once a week for an hour. If the students who were enrolled in the online class took their tests online they would have access to other resources to complete the test. My grades increased dramatically and now whenever I have questions the new instructor actually emails me back. Even if the teacher is not high quality, at least the students in both groups would be exposed to the same teaching style.
Students in the traditional classroom would not be able to use any notes or online materials to help them with the test. I guess technical difficulty is still one of the major drawbacks to online learning, were this professor in a classroom I could have confronted her with my issues much earlier.
Also, the same teacher should travel from university to university and that one teacher should teach the two classes at each university that the study was completed at.
Group projects were always my favorite because I got to work with my friends and have fun along the way. So the developers implemented a real-time search algorithm that would display related questions and potential answers before a student could finish typing. Ng and Koller also let students vote items up or down, much like on the link-sharing website Reddit, so that the most insightful questions would rise to the top rather than being lost in the chatter.
I like the fact that I can do the work whenever I want for these two classes but the problem is I don’t have the mind set to make myself sit down and do the work. My advisor told me that for the online class (Comm 160) sometimes students forget they are enrolled in it and do every lesson in one week at the end to catch up.
Following an approach pioneered by other online developers over the previous decade, Koller broke each video into 8–10-minute segments separated by pauses in which students have to answer questions or solve a problem. The idea was to get them to think about what they had learned; the deeper their engagement, studies showed, the better their retention.



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