Apples vs. Oranges: Comparison of Student Performance in a MOOC vs. a Brick-and-Mortar Course Documents
Michael Dubson, Ed Johnsen, David Lieberman, Jack R. Olsen, and Noah D. Finkelstein
In the fall of 2013, we taught the calculus-based introductory physics course at the University of Colorado at Boulder and, at the same time we taught a MOOC version of the same course, through Coursera. Students in both courses received identical lectures, homework assignments, and timed exams. We present data on participation rates and exam performance for the two groups. We find that the MOOC is like a drug targeted at a very specific population. When it works, it works well, but it works for very few. This MOOC worked well for older, well-educated students, who already have a good understanding of Newtonian mechanics.
Published April 28, 2015
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