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Friday, September 6, 2013

Faculty Still Skeptical of MOOC Results

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) may be generating lots of public interest, but faculty members are not quite there yet, according to a new survey from Inside Higher Education.

Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology, a study of 2,251 professors, found that just one in five agree that MOOCs achieve the same learning outcomes as traditional classroom instruction. At the same time, the percentage of instructors who had taught at least one online course rose from 25% in 2012 to 30% this year. Nearly 50% of those respondents said they believe the learning outcomes online were the same as in-person classes.

The study also found that six of 10 instructors said institutions offering a class online as well as in-person was a “very important” indicator of quality, but just 45% said online courses for credit are very important. On the other hand, 63% of the 248 academic technology administrators surveyed for the study said credit was a “very important” indicator of the quality of online education.

“The skepticism [of MOOCs] comes from a suspicion that these efforts are about cost savings, and are being driven by economic discussions and not learning discussions,” said Anne Balsamo, dean of the School Media Studies at The New School for Public Engagement.

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