January 28, 2022

MOOCs: San Jose State Researchers Release NSF-Funded Report on Udacity Pilot Project

From a Inside Higher Ed Report:

San Jose State University on Wednesday quietly released the full research report on the for-credit online courses it offered this spring through the online education company Udacity. The report, marked by delays and procedural setbacks, suggests it may be difficult for the university to deliver online education in this format to the students who need it most.


The report, funded by the National Science Foundation, details the setbacks the research team encountered as it began to evaluate results from the spring pilot project. In particular, it took months to obtain usable data from Udacity that tracked how students used instructional resources and accessed support services. The research team then had to spend several weeks awaiting clarifications and corrections to resolve accuracy questions.

Read the Complete Inside Higher Ed Article

Direct to the Full Text Report (48 pages; PDF)

From the Conclusion of the Executive Summary:

Overall, much was learned during and from the first iteration of AOLE and improvements are already in progress in the second AOLE iteration. Perhaps most importantly, the faculty members who taught these courses, although they had to contend with major difficulties along the way, believe that the content that has been developed has tremendous potential to advance students’ critical thinking and problem solving abilities. One faculty member summed it up this way: “Udacity has brought to the table ways to make the courses more inquiry-based and added real life context.”

Additional Links

Udacity Responds to the Report (Udacity Blog)

Coverage of the Release of the Report From COHE

Scores Improve in New Round of San Jose State’s Experiment With Udacity (via COHE)
August 28, 2013

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.