Some community colleges have found a new way of incorporating MOOCs—not by replacing their courses, but by creating online study guides for students taking remedial classes or placement examinations.
Community colleges such as Cuyahoga Community College (Cleveland, Ohio) “have created their own online content, sometimes tapping free lectures from the Khan Academy or other sources. And rather than using it for stand-alone courses, the colleges have designed supplemental study guides for remedial classes or for the placement tests incoming students take,” according to Inside Higher Ed.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation reportedly gave Cuyahoga Community College a $50,000 grant to support the development of their online course. Much of the content for the courses is then simply taken from free websites.
The college’s new online remedial course “isn’t aimed at the college’s students. It is shopping the class to local high schools. … The idea is to encourage students who are likely to attend Tri-C to brush up on their math skills before they arrive on campus.”
MOOCs may work well for remedial education as a pragmatic approach to preparing pre-college students with basic high school skills.
But, this is a far cry from the promises of the MOOC providers and their supporters, who tout the transformative potential of MOOCs in higher education.
Inside Higher Ed reports on remedial MOOC courses.