Coursera and the Future of Free Massive Open Online Courses (2014-2015)

How do we measure the success of MOOCs?

With the rise of open, online, publicly-available education, educators have begun to question the legitimacy and practicality of this new form of learning. This project team developed and launched two Coursera courses in introductory chemistry and statistics, which included developing modules, investigating alternative means of conveying information and probing the future of online education through research. All team members participated in two Coursera courses as community TAs as well as social media administrators.

Data Analysis and Statistical Inference is a 10-week course that introduces students to the discipline of statistics as a science of understanding and analyzing data. Students learn how to effectively make use of data in the face of uncertainty: how to collect data, how to analyze data, and how to use data to make inferences and conclusions about real world phenomena. Introduction to Chemistry is a 9-week course for students with limited backgrounds in chemistry; chemical problem-solving is emphasized with the goal of preparing students for further study in chemistry.

Team subprojects included Social Anxiety in MOOCs (Maria Elena Carvajal); Computational Labs for Data Analysis and Statistical Inference (Anthony Weishampel); Understanding the MOOC Student Experience through Qualitative Research Interviews (Clara Lee and Heather Shapiro); Completion Rates in MOOCs (Will Trautman); and Interactive Web Apps for Data Analysis and Statistical Inference (Brittany Cohen).



Team Outcomes

Understanding the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Student Experience: An Examination of Attitudes, Motivations, and Barriers (Heather B. Shapiro, Clara H. Lee, Noelle E. Wyman Roth, Kun Li, Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel, Dorian A. Canelas. 2017. Computers & Education 110:35-50)

Coursera and the Future of MOOCs (poster)

Coursera and the Future of MOOCs (project website)

This Team in the News

Duke to Expand Mix of In-person and Online Education

See related teams, Coursera and the Future of MOOCs (2015-2016) and Coursera and the Future of Free Massive Open Online Courses (2013-2014).

Team Leaders

  • Dorian Canelas, Arts & Sciences-Chemistry
  • Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel, Arts & Sciences-Statistical Science

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Olanrewaju Adisa, Chemistry (AB), Global Health (AB2)
  • Maria Carvajal, Chemistry (AB)
  • Heather Shapiro, Computer Science (BS), Statistical Science (BS2)
  • Anthony Weishampel, Statistical Science (BS)