Replacing Face-to-Face Classes with Low Quality Online Classes:
The CSU is interested in trying to “spend little to teach many” through various efforts to replace traditional face to face courses with massive online classes (MOOCs). These courses are sometimes offered by for-profit companies. But can online courses really take the place of the classroom? Lets take a look at some case studies…
Fall 2009: CSU Bakersfield and the Failed Massive Online Experiment
To cut costs, all face to face remedial math classes were replaced with a single 700 student online class with one professor. Only 40% passed, a shocking change from the same class the prior year- which had a 75% pass rate.
Spring 2013: San Jose State and the Failed For-Profit Online Experiment
SJSU partnered with a for-profit company called Udacity. Udacity offered online courses to students, and delivered disappointing results. Udacity math class passing rates were 50%-29%… The same math classes in a face to face class had rates of 74%-80%…
Are Online For-Profit Courses Really What’s Best for the Future of California?
SQE doesn’t think so. Online classes deemphasize deep learning, the need for outstanding tenure-line faculty, and campus engagement–all things we know lead to real and sustained student success. Online classes also burden departments with the task of developing subpar online curriculum–when we could be spending our money and time opening up more seats with more brilliant dedicated faculty who develop innovative and revolutionary teaching practicums that promote academic excellence. Lets invest in students and their higher education, not for-profit online education companies whose sole interest is in its own bottom line.