Study Suggests MOOCs Encourage 'Passive Learning'

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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