In “Interactive Online Learning on Campus: Testing MOOCs and Other Platforms in Hybrid Formats in the University System of Maryland” (pdf) Rebecca Griffiths, Matthew Chingos, Christine, and Mulhern Richard Spies describe studying hybrid learning experiments at the University of Maryland. Building on two previous Ithaka MOOC studies, they conclude that MOOCs can support hybrid learning on campus.
Let me dig into some of the findings.
Overall, my major takeaway is this: “online technology can be used to deliver hybrid courses with reduced class time without compromising student outcomes”. Put another way, “MOOCs can offer benefits to instructors and students when embedded in campus-based courses”.
faculty can take advantage of existing online content—sometimes created by professors at other institutions—to redesign their courses and benefit their students [emphasis added
Students in the hybrids did as well or statistically better on a variety of scores: “pass rates, scores on common assessments (a final exam or post-test administered as part of the study), and grades”.
And these are seriously hybrid classes, shifting a major amount of time from the physical classroom to online: “hybrid sections had on average 72 minutes of class time per week, compared to 126 for traditional sections”.
This has major implications. First, it strengthens arguments for blended/hybrid learning. Second, the decrease in f2f time will surely appeal to financially stressed campuses (and not a few instructors). Third, it’s a vindication for remix pedagogy, although not necessarily for open; to their credit, the Ithaka team are careful with this.
We can imagine a progression in which faculty gain familiarity with what MOOCs can offer (perhaps without the MOOC label) and grow more open to using these materials in different ways to solve problems for their students. Continue reading