Monday, November 17, 2014

Controlled Experiment with Online Ed

The LA Times reports on an interesting controlled experiment with online higher ed at Harvey Mudd College.  No, it did not involve a MOOC in which the whole course is a kind of video with some online interaction but no actual face-to-face classes.  Instead, the lectures are videoed but the students come to class for discussion sections with the instructor.  They can't ask questions during the lecture which just plays.  So the interaction is confined to the discussion sections.  But they can play the video as many times as they like if they miss a point. 

The experiment consisted of dividing students into an online group - which took the course as above - and another group which took the course in the conventional format with lectures to attend.  According to the article, the two groups of students performed equally well. 

Note that this form of online ed doesn't depart much from large lecture courses in more conventional formats followed by TA-led discussion sections. 

You can read the article at

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