Virtual Educators Critique Value of MOOCs for K-12
Wide-open e-courses are a hot topic in higher ed.
When 200 students sign up for a course, educators normally think of ways to split up the classroom into more manageable sizes. But for the University of Miami Global Academy, an online high school run by the University of Miami, building a class with hundreds of students was all part of the plan when it launched its first "massively open online course," or MOOC, in November. The six-week, noncredit course—a virtual seminar designed to help high school students prepare for the SAT II subject test in biology—used virtual-conferencing software to allow students to interact with the teacher in real time.
Students from as far away as China signed up for the biweekly sessions, and feedback about the course has been positive, said Craig Wilson, the head of school for the Miami Global Academy , a private, online-only middle and high school that serves 143 students from the United States and 20 other countries.
"We're still exploring [the MOOC course model]," Mr. Wilson said. "I think that most institutions are still trying to find the best way to apply the massively-open-online-course platform to...
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