Postsecondary Learning

Study Suggests MOOCs Encourage 'Passive Learning'

May 5, 2014

LEARNING BY WATCHING? For all the buzz around MOOCs, little has been said about how students actually learn. A recent study of nearly 400 students in a HarvardX MOOC on medical clinical trials doesn't offer good news, finding that "MOOCs may encourage passive learning, with students failing to integrate the scientific knowledge...with practical, on-the-job learning." The study further found that some classmates ended up doing "'as little interaction as possible'" and were motivated primarily by finishing the class and getting decent grades. Hey--that sounds familiar.

Postsecondary Learning

Study Suggests MOOCs Encourage 'Passive Learning'

May 5, 2014

LEARNING BY WATCHING? For all the buzz around MOOCs, little has been said about how students actually learn. A recent study of nearly 400 students in a HarvardX MOOC on medical clinical trials doesn't offer good news, finding that "MOOCs may encourage passive learning, with students failing to integrate the scientific knowledge...with practical, on-the-job learning." The study further found that some classmates ended up doing "'as little interaction as possible'" and were motivated primarily by finishing the class and getting decent grades. Hey--that sounds familiar.

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