Science News. Science, engineering and technology courses have been in the vanguard of the massive open online course movement. These classes also are providing fodder for scientific research on learning. When campus president Wallace Loh walked into Juan Uriagereka's office last August, he got right to the point. “We need courses for this thing — yesterday!”
Uriagereka, associate provost for faculty affairs at the University of Maryland in College Park, knew exactly what his boss meant. Campus administrators around the world had been buzzing for months about massive open online courses, or MOOCs: Internet-based teaching programs designed to handle thousands of students simultaneously, in part using the tactics of social-networking websites. To supplement video lectures, much of the learning comes from online comments, questions and discussions. Participants even mark one another's tests. Read more...