MOOCs: Expectations and Reality - Academic Partnerships

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MOOCs: Expectations and Reality Full Report May 2014

Fiona M. Hollands, Ph.D. Devayani Tirthali, Ed.D.

Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education Teachers College, Columbia University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements....................................................................................................................................... 6 Purpose of the Study and Intended Audience .............................................................................................. 6 Executive Summary....................................................................................................................................... 7 Introduction ................................................................................................................................................ 18 Methods ...................................................................................................................................................... 22 What is a MOOC? Definitions and Characteristics...................................................................................... 25 Definition of “MOOC” ............................................................................................................................. 25 Characteristics of MOOCs ....................................................................................................................... 30 Origins of the cMOOC: George Siemens ................................................................................................. 31 Origins of the cMOOC: Stephen Downes ................................................................................................ 33 Origins of the Modern MOOC (xMOOC): Article contributed by Andrew Ng and Jennifer Widom ...... 34 MOOC Derivatives ................................................................................................................................... 48 How and Why are Institutions Engaging with MOOCs?.............................................................................. 49 Goal 1: Extending Reach and Access........................................................................................................... 53 Case 1: Virology for the Masses: Vincent Racaniello, Columbia University............................................ 63 Case 2: Developmental Education MOOCs: Cuyahoga Community College’s Pre-Algebra CCC ............. 65 Goal 2: Building and Maintaining Brand ..................................................................................................... 67 Case 3: MOOCs to Increase Visibility: American Museum of Natural History MOOC Initiative ............. 71 Case 4: MOOCs for Recruitment: Academic Partnerships MOOC2Degree Initiative ............................. 72 Goal 3: Improving Economics: Reducing Costs or Increasing Revenues..................................................... 74 Potential Cost Savings from MOOCs ....................................................................................................... 75 MOOCs as a Source of Revenue .............................................................................................................. 81 Case 5: Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science Program .................................. 87 Goal 4: Improving Educational Outcomes .................................................................................................. 90 Case 6: Course Re-design to a Mastery-Based Model: Michael Cima, MIT .......................................... 100 Case 7: Re-designing Introduction to Circuit Analysis: Khosrow Ghadiri, San José State University .... 103 Goal 5: Innovation in Teaching and Learning ........................................................................................... 106 Case 8: Maximizing the Use of Technology in Learning: University of Oklahoma ................................ 110 Goal 6: Research on Teaching and Learning .......................................................................