By Carl Straumsheim
After more than two years in the cloud, Coursera’s massive open online courses will this summer make landfall at Dominican University of California, which will host the MOOC provider’s first Learning Hub at a U.S. institution.
Dominican is part of Coursera’s latest wave of hubs — physical locations scattered across the globe where MOOC students can meet in person to collaborate and, in some cases, receive in-person tutoring from course facilitators familiar with the content. The program is a product of the MOOC provider’s partnership with the U.S. Department of State and a number of educational organizations in countries such as India, Kenya and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, among others. The New York Public Library will host a second domestic hub.
Since their launch in November, the hubs have made a case for a more hands-on approach to teaching MOOC content. Completion rates among students who participate in them range between 30 and 100 percent, Coursera reported, compared to the dismal (and much-debated) 6.8 percent average rate seen across all of the courses offered by Coursera’s partner institutions. More than half of the hubs are located in emerging countries, providing students there with free Internet access.
Dominican joins the program for a different reason, President Mary B. Marcy said in a statement. The university’s participation “comes as traditional brick-and-mortar institutions — particularly smaller liberal arts colleges and universities — seek ways to use technology to offer a fresh response to areas of significant concern, specifically cost, access, and quality,” she said.
[ Full article available at Inside Higher Ed: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/05/01/dominican-u-host-first-coursera-learning-hub-us-institution ]