Open Online Courses (MOOCs) emerged a few years ago to great fanfare,
raising hope for widely available low-cost education for all.
universities have developed free online courses, resulting in millions
of course registrations and substantially increasing access to learning.
Like other academic groups, the Stanford Lytics Lab
has developed research threads around understanding online learners,
evaluating digital instruction, and building learning tools,
also making data available for academic research by others. What have
we learned overall? Will digital technology make effective learning
possible on an unprecedented scale? Or are there still important
challenges around factors such as learning outcomes, assessment,
credentials, and economics? What role can and should universities play
in developing our digital future? And why?
is Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, the Mary and Gordon Crary
Family Professor in the School of Engineering, Professor of Computer
Science, and (by courtesy) Professor of Electrical Engineering and of
Education at Stanford University. His past research has focused on
computer security, developing analysis methods and improving network
protocol security, authorization and access control, web security, and
privacy. Professor Mitchell's first research project in online learning
started in 2009, when he and six undergraduate students built Stanford
CourseWare, an innovative platform that expanded to support interactive
video and discussion. CourseWare served as the foundation for initial
flipped classroom experiments at Stanford and helped inspire the first
massive open online courses (MOOCs) from Stanford.
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