Thursday, February 28, 2013

Online Courses Hurting Students of Color Most?

From Tech Crunch:Study: Online Courses May Be The Worst For Minorities And At-Risk Students

When Noam Chomsky spoke at the UA, he said that he wasn't really in favor of MOOCs because he said he didn't really believe in that kind of pedagogical dynamic without a teacher in a classroom. A new study out of Columbia affirms Chomsky's doubts, especially with regard to students of color. The research I've read on online courses, specifically Todd Ruecker's study looking at two Latina/o students in El Paso, found there were numerous factor affecting the success of students with courses requiring online literacy--surprisingly, language wasn't as large a factor as the issue of "self-sponsorship," which I believe others might define as agency, when it comes to accessing technology online.

From the article:
"Di Xu and Shanna Smith Jaggars of Columbia University [writes,]“Specifically, we found that males, black students, and students with lower levels of academic preparation experienced significantly stronger negative coefficients for
online learning compared with their counterparts, in terms of both course persistence and course grades.”
The research team controlled for an impressive array of student characteristics, class types and demographics, and found a negative impact across most of their variables. Interestingly, they also looked at courses where more than 75 percent of the students were at risk, and found that the presence of at-risk peers made drop out all the more likely."

 Read the entire article here:

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