By Dian Schaffhauser
The University of Houston System is launching its first three massive open online courses (MOOCs), two of them targeted to high school seniors preparing for advanced placements tests and one for K-12 teachers. The classes will be offered free through Coursera.
Starting in March, two U Houston professors will teach six-week courses, one on preparing for the AP calculus AB exam and the other on preparing for the AP statistics exam. Students need an Internet connection and about eight to 10 hours a week to do the work, including watching video lectures, taking quizzes, checking class forums and finishing “optional” standalone homework assignments. At the end of each course, students will take practice exams.
Last year, according to Jeffrey Morgan, associate provost of education innovation and technology at U Houston, 280,000 students took the AP Calculus AB exam and 150,000 took the AP statistics exam. About a quarter of the calculus test-takers made a grade of five, the highest score. Typically, he noted, those students who achieve that score get college credit for calculus from whatever school they attend. Morgan, who is also co-teaching the two AP courses, said he believes that students who pursue the MOOC could bring their capabilities up to that highest level.
Morgan said the long-term goals for offering the MOOCs is to reach “non-matriculated students interested in continuing their education, but who might not have access to campus resources.” Next year, he added, the university system intends to offer full-year courses in AP calculus and AP statistics through Coursera.
[ Full article available at Campus Technology: http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/02/20/u-houston-system-intros-free-ap-exam-prep-and-teacher-training-moocs.aspx ]