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San Jose, Udacity and at risk students

VU International News and Reviews No. 13 September 17 2013

September 2013

In September, a study was published commissioned by San Jose State University on its cooperation with Udacity in providing MOOCs.

The study focused on the correlation between background and study results. Since it is aimed to shed light on the question if MOOCs add to the access opportunities for disadvantaged students.

The study has struggled with a multitude of problems in data collection and response rates.

The executive summary concludes:

“Measures of student effort trump all other variables tested for their relationships to student success. These variables are  demographic descriptions of the students, course subject matter and student use of support services. The clearest predictor of passing a course is the number of problem sets a student submitted.
The relationship between completion of problem sets and success is not linear; rather the positive effect increases dramatically after a certain baseline of effort has been made. Video Time, another measure of effort, was also found to have a strong positive relationship with passing, particularly for Stat 95 students.”

Report available through kees.kouwenaar@vu.nl

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