National Science Foundation review of Udacity/San Jose MOOC experiment released

National Science Foundation

Four months after the end of the semester, National Science Foundation researchers released a preliminary report on the MOOC experiments at San José State. While the online project was announced earlier this year amid broad national publicity, the NSF report was placed quietly on a campus web site last week.

Overall, the findings show students in target populations did not do well. Pass rates ranged around 24% to 30%.

“This report just confirms much of what we already knew from past research on online learning,” says Steve Filling, a Stanislaus faculty member who has followed developments on this project closely.

“We already knew that the digital divide is real in many communities our campuses serve and that under-prepared students struggle in online classes without close interaction with and regular feedback from their instructors. This whole project was touted from its inception as a giant step forward for ‘access.’ Let’s hope the report encourages more awareness about who is likely to succeed in online learning and who is not.”

See a summary of the NSF preliminary report in Inside Higher Education