Students in one Ohio State calculus class don’t have to sit in a lecture hall or pay tuition to learn.
Calculus One — a MOOC, or massive open online course, created by OSU professors — is offered through Coursera, a website offering classes online to students worldwide at no cost. OSU is one of about 100 universities offering courses through Coursera, but the university is not making a profit from its relationship with Coursera. Two OSU mathematics professors, Jim Fowler and Bart Snapp, created the Calculus One course. A total of nine OSU courses are offered through Coursera, including Latin American Migration, Technology and Ethics, Human Trafficking and Introduction to Pharmacy. Fowler said individual ambition to learn or lack thereof is often apparent in the class, something he thinks math instructors could help students with.
The class, though, is made up of students worldwide, some of whom said their enthusiasm for calculus was what made them enroll.
Khadija Niazi said Fowler and Snapp were good teachers who communicated well with their class by responding to emails and answering questions. Fowler said he thinks MOOCs will eventually be offered for credit similarly to how other online courses are offered for credit. Coursera currently has a Signature Track service through which some of its university partners offer courses for official university recognition for a “small fee,” according to a Coursera release.
University of Michigan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Duke University are among the schools offering at least one Signature Track course, according to a listing of courses on Coursera’s website. Wayne Carlson, OSU’s vice provost for undergraduate studies and dean of undergraduate education, told The Lantern in September there was a possibility of money becoming involved down the line. Roman Holowinsky, an OSU associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, said MOOC calculus courses give students the individual feedback lost in a lecture where of 120 students, only 10 might come to office hours. Snapp and Fowler emphasize student interaction with the material in the Calculus One class. Students who find mistakes in the online textbook used for the calculus course can submit edits, and if an edit is approved by Snapp or Fowler, it is applied to all of their other online textbooks. The course also tracks how long each student takes on individual problems and in browsing sections of the textbook, compiling data related to each student and the class as a whole. Snapp said he and Fowler are working on understanding the learning strategies of students in an online situation and attempting to make their education better based on that data. Jamie Walla, a high school calculus teacher in California, enrolled in the course as a refresher.
Walla said she wants to be a resource for her students, so she took the class to review material she hadn’t used in years.
Fowler said Coursera is ideal for people who want to learn throughout their lives, as many of his students already have degrees. Representatives for the OSU Office of Distance Education & eLearning said the department views the course as an opportunity.


Share Tweet Pin Plus LinkedIn Reddit StumbleUpon Digg Email Print A general education psychology class at Ohio State University (OSU) apparently implied via an online quiz that atheists are naturally smarter than Christians. The quiz was part of an online series and students in the class are only required to take a certain number of them, though it is recommended to take all of them to prepare for the exam.
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A prototype application implementing Sandquery research allowing users to project their thoughts, actions and feelings onto a real-time virtual character by using motion capture via the Microsoft Kinect. The above videos were documentation for the class: Building Virtual Environments, Winter 2011.
Please follow and like us:Math professor Jim Fowler uses high energy online videos to teach calculus concepts to students around the world. Calculus is a class that people take as a prerequisite for dozens of majors around campus and at colleges across the country. Mooculus is a collaborative effort between several math professors at OSU and is led by Fowler. Fowler said most of the people who watch Mooculus videos on YouTube or are enrolled in the online class on Coursera are not traditional 18- to 24-year-old college students, but instead a lot of other young people, as well as much older learners. The course is available on several platforms, Fowler said, including the OSU website, iTunes U and Coursera. The videos are designed to motivate concepts over calculations and are very high-energy, Fowler said. Snapp said one of the other differences is that the instructors strive to “get to the point” faster in the videos. Fowler said the reaction has been very positive from both students and faculty from different departments and schools. As with many moocs, the passing rates for Mooculus are low, but that is something that does not worry Fowler very much, especially since the course is not for credit.
Fowler said he is less concerned about people taking the final test at the end of the course, and is more concerned about whether students are learning things.
The Mooculus team is currently creating the second generation of the course, which will combine the videos, textbooks and practice problems to create an interactive textbook so students can do everything at once. The Engaged Scholars logo accompanies stories that feature and examine research and teaching partnerships formed between the Ohio State University and the community (local, state, national and global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources. Why does this report not consider number and percentage of enrolled students who completed the course, and the number and percentage who completed the course for college credit? He and his sister Khadija Niazi, 13-year-old students in Pakistan, found the course after a physics instructor told them they would need higher math to solve problems involving large celestial bodies. Prices for available Signature Track courses on Coursera’s website range from $30 to $90, according to the Coursera website. He said, though, while the immediate feedback of calculus MOOCs is great, learning is still up to the individual.


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One course, titled Calculus One or Mooculus, functions as an introduction to calculus both for those who are new to the subject and those who just want to review concepts. The course is a mooc, or massively open online course, which means that anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can learn topics, such as limits and derivatives.
Some of the students who are taking the course online are those who otherwise would not have access to a calculus class, Fowler said.
Fowler said the team designed the course to include things that they would have liked in courses when they were students.
Bart Snapp, an auxiliary assistant professor in the math department who is also involved in the project, said the biggest difference between Mooculus and other online calculus classes is the quality of the videos, simply because they are more engaging. He said he has been able to engage in conversations about how calculus is best taught and what the goal should be when teaching it. He said there is a long way to go to make online courses better, but getting people involved in the math community is a big win. Currently he is working on expanding the program to include other areas of mathematics, including linear algebra. The book is currently being tested with students in several sections of calculus classes on campus. So far, hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in the course on Coursera, an online-education website that partners with universities around the country, and more than 250,000 have participated through the OSU website, said Jim Fowler, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics. Mooculus is made up of three components: lecture videos, an online textbook and interactive homework problems, Fowler said. There are a lot of videos that show the process of solving calculus problems, but fewer that celebrate the concepts behind calculus. He added that the resources available, such as homework feedback, are comparable to that of a course students would have to pay for, but said that Mooculus is free. It is open-source, meaning other faculty can edit it, and once it is completed it will be free to students. The Lantern retains sole editorial control over the selection, writing and editing of these stories. He said the Mooculus videos try to explain a lot of these concepts and that the homework component is also more interactive. Fowler said the group of professors who organized the project chose to do calculus because it is often the gateway STEM course that is needed to get into many majors.



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