The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Doubts about MOOCs

There's been a lot written about massive open online courses (MOOCs), but what do college students think? A survey of undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found they appreciate the potential of MOOCs, but have concerns about reliability and quality.

The study, What do current college studentsthink about MOOCs, asked participants eight open-ended questions on their perceptions and attitudes toward MOOCs compared with press coverage of the courses.

“Students currently enrolled in MOOCs constitute a population of early adopters of a new technology,” the authors of the report wrote. “For MOOCs to be widely accepted as effective means of education, MOOCs must achieve a critical mass of users to either align with, or overcome, prevalent existing students’ attitudes toward higher education.”

The survey found that 81% of the responding students said they had concerns over the reliability of MOOCs and 52% worried about the content used. While 58% held positive views of MOOC accessibility, 49% had concerns about a lack of guidance from instructors and 40% were troubled by a lack of communication options with the instructors teaching the MOOC.

Researchers concluded that many students feel the information presented through MOOCs is not of the same quality as that in a traditional college course. The students also felt feedback from instructors was too slow. Another significant issue was the fact that MOOCs don’t always offer college credit.

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