Monday, March 18, 2013

Chronicle of Higher Education survey of MOOC professors

The Chronicle of Higher Education has published the results of a non-scientific survey of professors who have taught a MOOC. The online questionnaire was sent to 184 professors in late February, and 103 of them responded.

My favorite result was the answer to the question "Has the experience of teaching a MOOC inspired you to change the way you teach the traditional classroom version of the course" -- 73.7 percent of the respondents answered "yes."

Even if MOOCs are a flash in the pan, they trigger innovation in pedagogy, technology and certification, just as online teaching material will take us beyond the traditional textbook.

I was also struck by the completion rate. The median number enrolled was 33,000 and the median number who completed the course with a passing grade was 2,600. This was achieved by a median of 1 teaching assistant and 8 hours per week of the professor's time.

In a recent blog post, I asked whether a MOOC with 700 active students was a bad deal. If we can teach 2,600 students, we can justify a full time professor and production costs -- what could you accomplish if you worked full time on teaching one class and had good support?

Check the Chronicle article to see the rest of the results, and be sure to note that there are three tabs at the top of the page -- an article, the survey results and quotes from eight of the professors.