Improve the classroom experience
According to the Stanford Computer Science Department Chair Jennifer Widom, the idea of starting free classes online stroke them almost more than two years ago and since then, it was a popular section of their education department among the youth while thousands of students enrolled for the free classes on AI.
MOOCs have undoubtedly expanded the scope of accessing higher education to those people who otherwise could not afford it.
“People are thinking about the classroom experience in a more careful and meticulous way than in the past,” said John Mitchell, Stanford’s Vice Provost for Online Learning and the Mary and Gordon Crary Family Professor of Engineering.
The enthusiasts have been more excited about more and more upgradations of the technology tools in the matter of education which gives them more encouragements to work for the betterment of higher education.
Over the years
Technology improvements have made MOOC – a popular brand which in term has earned huge success for higher education. It is because of technology that we have to some extent overcome all the physical barriers and made education affordable and reachable to people of all sectors without much hassle.
The journey wasn't so easy and involved huge dedication and motivation to make higher education a worldwide success.
Online technologies have repeatedly enabled an unbundling, which disrupted the respective industries and their traditional business models.
Mitchell Stevens, an Associate Professor of Education at Stanford, said the move to online education is driven not by technology but by factors like contracting state budgets, which put pressure on many colleges to reduce costs at the same time they are facing growing scrutiny around performance.
Inventing new teaching methods
Stanford is still analysing from their current data records about how to introduce more courses online with the new technology based teaching techniques.
Among the various other tools with which they are experimenting, Mitchell's team is using heat maps to analyze course videos to identify which segments are being watched and for what period of time.
In this technique, the heat map pinpointed a video segment that students had repeatedly watched, reversed and watched again.
Making MOOCs effective
In spite of vigorous success in the field of distance learning through technology improvements, online learning lags behind in few cases like one-to-one faculty support for the students.
Tina Seelig, executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program who in April will teach her second online session of “A Crash Course in Creativity,” said the biggest challenge she faced was the extreme precision the online class required.
“When you’re teaching an online class if you’re not exactly clear about what you want (from students), you don’t get exactly what you expect,” she said.
Another challenge is that only a small percentage of students who enroll in an MOOC actually complete it.
What is the future of MOOCs?
Some wonder how the numerous businesses that have sprung up around MOOCs will stay afloat while delivering a free product. Criticisers point out the potential problems with verifying student identity and preventing cheating, especially when courses are offered on credit.
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