Saturday, March 14, 2015

Should MOOCs be treated as Advanced Placement exam?

We know that many institution try to use Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) to increase the return to scale of higher education. There are three factors that MOOCs have that may give them advantage over traditional higher education.
  1. There is no seat limit, so the institution may provide education at a lower price.
  2. There is no penalty to failure of MOOCs, only successfully completing a course gives the student credits.
  3. MOOCs are not counted towards six-year graduation rate, but if they are counted towards six-year graduation rate, all the Ivy Leagues, and many other universities, will have 0% six-year graduation rate.

From those three advantages, they are practically counted as Advanced Placement exams where failure is neither a penalty to the student, nor is it a penalty to the university six-year graduation rate. Therefore, like Advanced Placement exams, not all universities accept them for credit, so MOOCs will have the same qualification as Advanced Placement exams would bring balance to the different forms of education. Like all online courses, there are aspect that would never equalize with traditional higher education.

While it is non-academic to not cite sources, the hybridization of more forms of education would improve the overall quality. Lecture is effective for return to scale; thus, it is widely used by traditional higher education.

While the flipped classroom, activity-based learning, and peer instruction are effective methods of learning, flipped classroom requires self-motivating students and small class size, activity-based learning requires extrovert students, and peer instruction requires sufficient quality students; that is, "A" students needs to make up a sufficient portion of the class to be effective to have sufficient quality students. Each of the different forms of education may mix with one another to help cover the different learning styles of students.

Classroom time does not matter among students that wish to cut time. Indirectly, either there is not enough material covered in Principle of Microeconomics courses which indicates a lack of rigor in those courses, or the method of examination, multiple choice, is not a reasonable way to measure student performance. However, there are multiple licensing agency that uses exclusively multiple choice; therefore, the method of examination is somewhat reasonable. Thus, following the former part, that those courses do not cover sufficient materials since students in hybrid classes lose half of their contact hours and they don't make up for those hours with additional studying hours.

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