Researchers say MOOCs can be as effective as face-to-face classes

October 1, 2014

Researchers at MIT, Tsinghua University (China), and Harvard have found that massive open online courses (MOOCs) can be as effective as face-to-face classes in terms of helping students learn. According to the report, pre- and post-test results showed that students in an edX course achieved gains greater than students in a traditional course, but less than students enroled in courses that included interactive engagement. “In spite of the extra instruction that the on-campus students had,” the researchers found “no evidence of positive, weekly relative improvement of our on-campus students compared with our online students.“ The researchers also found that improvement in students’ performance was consistent across a variety of criteria, including level of education, preparation in math and physics, and overall ability in the course. However, just 1,080 students of 17,000 who initially signed up attempted more than half the questions in the MOOC. Campus Technology | Full study