This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
Wesleyan University polls students regularly and avoids flashy Hollywood techniques to ensure its massive open online courses are effective without breaking the budget.
10 Job Search Tools For Recent Grads
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
At Wesleyan University, a private college in Middletown, Conn., "learning by doing" has been the approach to its first round of massive open online courses (MOOCs) with partner Coursera.
"Getting our feet wet makes us think more deeply about things," said Jolee West, director of academic computing services and digital library projects. "We're going to start from a different point from schools who've never mounted one."
For instance, every university and college running a MOOC will need to figure out best practices for video, West said. Interestingly, Wesleyan does not believe Hollywood-style, high-production values make sense in every case, for every professor. West uses the example of having the instructor stand in front of a green screen for which a computer-generated background can be substituted later -- an essential technique for science fiction, but not necessarily education. "Rather than put everyone in front of a green screen, you want their personality to come through," she said. "That's what captures student attention."
West is part of a group working on surveys of students, which she hopes will shed light on what works and what can be improved.
"Next round, we'll have pre- and post-course surveys," she said, adding that this could help uncover what kinds of students stay in the course until the end.
David Baird, VP for information technology and CIO at Wesleyan, also is interested in using data.
Coursera has not yet shared with Wesleyan the data it has collected, including engagement metrics on how students are interacting with course material. "They haven't figured out how to show us the data," Baird said.
Another area of inquiry could be why students picked Wesleyan courses in the first place. "Consider this: we didn't really advertise we were doing this," Baird said. "People pored over the Coursera topics and they found us."
This might explain the higher-than-average 10% completion rate for Wesleyan's MOOCs, he speculated.
We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
State of the CloudCloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Getting Started With Emerging TechnologiesLooking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.