By Steve Kolowich
Earlier this year, it looked as if a high-profile online-education experiment at San Jose State University had gone on the rocks. In the first courses the university ran with technology from Udacity, the online-learning company, students’ grades were, frankly, dismal.
But now the pilot program appears to be back on course, buoyed by encouraging data from this summer’s trials, in which the university offered tweaked versions of the same courses to a much different mix of students.
In the spring, the university adapted three courses for Udacity’s platform and offered them to small groups of online students for credit. The idea was to test whether Udacity’s technology and teaching methods, which the company originally developed for its massive open online courses, could be useful in a more conventional online setting.
But the pass rates in all three Udacity-powered courses trailed far behind the rates in comparable face-to-face courses at San Jose State. The university decided not to offer any trial courses through Udacity in the fall.
[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/scores-improve-in-new-round-of-san-jose-states-experiment-with-udacity/45997 ]