[In this Huffington Post article Otto Scharmer outlines how he transformed his face-to-face MIT course impacting less than 50 people into a global project with over 50,000 participants in 185 countries. How? Using a blended learning approach as a MOOC on the edX platform. In my work at Carnegie Mellon University I had a similar vision, but I could not sway the powers-that-be to make this move. Today it’s quite possible and economically affordable.]
[Alex Hernandez uses his insights as a parent and an Edsurge writer on educational technology to share a summer success story for his two twins. The Brain Chase program used a “Blended” approach – physical objects and activities combined online experiences – to create an engaging 5 week experience. ]
My 9-year-old twins recently completed a five-week MOOC (massive open online course). I thought I’d be a proud, high-fiving dad, but MOOC completion rates hover around 6%, so when they completed the MOOC, I was mostly puzzled. Something went terribly… right.
Brain Chase is an online learning experience geared for 2nd to 8th graders designed to cure summer learning loss and provide afterschool enrichment. Each week, children work on a variety of online programs such as Khan Academy, myOn and Rosetta Stone, submit a piece of writing and read–a substantial investment of 5 hours a week during the summer.
Brain Chase’s founders, husband-and-wife team Heather and Allan Staker, shared that 2,000 children between the ages of 6 and 14 participated this summer, and 50% of them completed the five week program. “While the completion rate skewed slightly towards boys, it held at roughly 50% across age and gender,” Allan reported.
So how is Brain Chase bucking the curse of low MOOC completion rates? And what are the implications for online learning?
[The Berklee School of Music in Boston has been a leader using distance learning to develop music skills for post-high school students. Recently they added a MOOC into their mix of offerings. The MOOC has been an incredibly effective tool getting more people aware of Berklee and providing a path to its online and on campus programs. More schools need to look at this business model that provides cost-effective strategies for people interested in learning new skills.]
Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For 70 years, the college has evolved to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business, leading the way with the world’s first baccalaureate studies in jazz, rock, electric guitar, film scoring, songwriting, turntables, electronic production, and more than a dozen other genres and fields of study.
Berklee Online, the online continuing education division of Berklee, has been teaching music online for 13 years. Building on Berklee’s rich tradition of distance education—including mail-based correspondence courses in the 1960s and 70s that brought the likes of Alf Clausen, Gary Burton and David Mash to the college—Berklee Online was established in 2001. Our mission is to expand the reach of the college and provide music education opportunities to a global base of aspiring musicians. Over the years, we’ve developed a diverse portfolio of online offerings, from free to degree, all representing contemporary music and music-related studies.
Berklee President Roger H. Brown describes Berklee Online’s portfolio as a “Wedding Cake” of options for students. As you move up through the layers, the costs increase as does a student’s access to Berklee curricula and faculty in small, intimately sized cohorts.
In 2012, after teaching more than 75,000 students online, we became a partner institution with both Coursera and edX. This added a new bottom layer to our wedding cake of options: MOOCs.