Friday, September 13, 2013

Study Shows Effort Not MOOC Tech Spells Success

Student effort, not whiz bang technology, made the difference for passing mathematics courses designed by online provider Udacity through San Jose State University last spring, according to a report released by the university. The research, funded by the National Science Foundation and conducted by a team from the state's community college system and San Jose State, described problems collecting data from any but the top students and from Udacity, which countered these claims. See the full story here and the original report appears here.

Pushing college math remediation into high school

An experiment to use online self-directed learning software in high school has shown impressive results in increasing the numbers of students ready for college in Tennessee. The program that brings community college instructors into high school computer labs to assist students working on Pearson's MyMathLab program has yielded pass rates as high as 83% among students who are at high risk of failing college math placement tests. In addition, 25% of the students have gone on to complete college credit mathematics courses while still in high school. As many as 60% of entering community college students test into remedial math, and only about half of those ultimately pass those non credit-bearing courses. The high cost of remedial math and low success rate at the college level has the states of Florida and Connecticut passing laws to remove college requirements forcing students to take such non credit remedial courses.