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Communications of the ACM


MOOCs Need More Work; So Do CS Graduates

October 18, 2013

MOOCs in the Coursera, Udacity, and edX form are tightly tied to CS. The leaders of the xMOOC movement came out of computer science, and most of the first generation of xMOOCs focused on teaching computer science. Many of the MOOC evaluations so far have been expert reviews. Our Learning Sciences and Technologies seminar at Georgia Tech's College of Computing just read Moti Ben-Ari's travelogue on his experiences in Coursera's and Udacity's introductory CS MOOC. The empirical results of the first rounds of MOOCs on intro courses are now in, so it is worth considering how they are doing.

Karen Head has finished her series of posts in The Chronicle of Higher Education on the freshman-composition MOOC she taught with Gates Foundation funding. The stats were disappointing—only 238 of the approximately 15K students who did the first homework finished the course. That is even less than the ~10% we saw completing other MOOCs.

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