By Carl Straumsheim
San Jose State University on Wednesday quietly released the full research report on the for-credit online courses it offered this spring through the online education company Udacity. The report, marked by delays and procedural setbacks, suggests it may be difficult for the university to deliver online education in this format to the students who need it most.
The report’s release lands on the opposite end of the spectrum from the hype generated in January, when university officials, flanked by the Udacity CEO Sebastian Thrun and California Governor Jerry Brown, unveiled the project during a 45-minute press conference. The pilot project, featuring two math courses and one statistics course, aimed to bring high-quality education to students for a fraction of the cost of the university’s normal tuition. Wednesday’s report went live on the university’s website sometime before noon Pacific time, appearing with little fanfare on the research page of the principal investigator for the project, Elaine D. Collins. Collins serves as associate dean in the College of Science.
The report provides a long-awaited look into how the pilot project has fared. The initials results from the spring pilot led the university to put its partnership with Udacity on “pause” for the fall semester. Last month, the university released results from the summer pilot, showing increased retention and student pass rates. However, those reports barely scratched the surface of the data the university collected during the project.
[ Full article available at Inside Higher Ed: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/09/12/after-weeks-delays-san-jose-state-u-releases-research-report-online-courses ]