What we can learn from MOOCs

Daphne Koller’s TED talk describes the free, huge online courses offered by elite universities, and what educators can learn from the successes and shortcomings of these courses. The best elements of these courses include their customizable nature, the active learning that comes from in-lecture quizzes, and the ability to break material up into short segments of 8-12 minutes that are better matched to attention spans than the traditional 50-minute lecture. These are all elements that face-to-face educators can incorporate to make our classes more effective.  She also presents data suggesting that self-grading and peer-grading of assignments may be an effective solution to the problem of instructor workload in large (or huge!) classes as well as being assessment for learning- something to consider for face-to-face instructors too.

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