San Jose State puts Udacity project on “pause”

July 18, 2013

San Jose State University is planning to “pause” its experimental partnership with MOOC provider Udacity, which offers 3 online for-credit math courses for $150 to 100 students per course. According to SJSU provost Ellen Junn, the “breather” was prompted by disappointing student performance. Preliminary results from the spring semester found that students did not do as well in the Udacity courses as those who attend normal classes. However, Junn warns against reading too much into the results, citing the “significant differences in the student populations.” Junn also points out that courses included at-risk students, high school students and SJSU students who had already failed a remedial math course, a combination that caused the university to "stack the deck against [them]selves." SJSU plans to keep working this fall with edX, another MOOC provider, and reports that students in the edX experimental classes are actually faring better than regular SJSU students. The edX partnership is different from the one with Udacity, which is designed to replace classroom learning, because SJSU is using edX material only as a supplement to the classroom experience. Inside Higher Ed