Despite booming enrollment and enthusiastic administrators, scant research offers little evidence that online courses are effective
There’s only one hitch: No one really knows if students learn anything in a MOOC. Scant existing research suggests that the success rate of online education, in general, is poor. And even the people behind MOOCs are becoming concerned about sky-high expectations, which they say represent a misunderstanding of their purpose.“At this point, there’s just no way to really know whether they’re effective or not,” said Shanna Jaggars, assistant director of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College, which has produced some of the most recent scholarship about online education.
“Everyone in the research field agrees that, for the particular purpose of replacing on-campus education, the evidence [for MOOCs] is ambiguous at best,” said Andrew Ho, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and research director for HarvardX. “Far more research is needed. And we’re conducting some of it. But we’re way out over our skis when it comes to that particular purpose of MOOCs.”
[ Full article available at Time U.S.: http://nation.time.com/2013/09/12/all-hail-moocs-just-dont-ask-if-they-actually-work/ ]