November 26, 2015

New Research From Ithaka S+R: “Testing MOOCs and Other Platforms in Hybrid Formats in the University System of Maryland”

Here’s a new research report released by Ithaka S+R earlier today.


Interactive Online Learning on Campus: Testing MOOCs and Other Platforms in Hybrid Formats in the University System of Maryland


Rebecca Griffiths
Matthew Chingos
Christine Mulhern
>Richard Spies


Ithaka S+R

From News Release

Online technologies show promise for educating more people in innovative ways that can lower costs for universities and colleges, but how can higher education leaders move forward, confident in their choices about how best to integrate these technologies on their campuses? With a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ithaka S+R is working to help provide the answer.

Since November 2012, Ithaka S+R has been working with the University System of Maryland (USM) to test a variety of online learning technologies, assess student learning outcomes, and document lessons learned from these implementations. The USM is serving as a test bed for employing MOOCs from Coursera, the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) from Carnegie Mellon, and Pearson in a variety of subject areas on different campuses.

Selected Outcomes rom the Research

While the tests with Pearson are continuing, Ithaka S+R has now published Interactive Online Learning on Campus: Testing MOOCs and Other Platforms in Hybrid Courses in the University System of Maryland. Looking specifically at how faculty in the USM incorporated MOOCs and OLI into their courses, our report points to several positive outcomes:

1) Using MOOC and OLI courses in hybrid formats, faculty were able to achieve outcomes comparable to traditionally taught sections with, on average, considerably reduced class time

2) Students in these hybrid sections fared as well or (using OLI) slightly better than students in traditional sections in terms of pass rates, scores on common assessments, and grades;

3) These findings held true for academically at risk students as well, including those from low-income families, under-represented minorities, first-generation college students, and those with weaker academic preparation.

Direct to Full Text Report (81 pages; PDF)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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