Students at Temple browsed the options for online courses on the Fox School of Business website. Dr. Darin Kapanjie, managing director of Fox Online and Digital Learning, and the course’s main instructor, said the school is making up for lost time.
After years of advancing distance learning, the explosion of web-based college classes made 2012 the Year of the MOOC, the massive open online course phenomenon the is challenging education’s future.
Late in launching, Temple University announced this summer it would host its first such accredited course this fall out of its Fox School of Business.
The course recently completed and though still processing its impact, course instructor Dr. Darin Kapanjie, managing director of Fox Online and Digital Learning, said he was struck the similarities between the free distance learning class and other students.
“I was surprised at how well the students who made it through the course performed. They’re very comparable to our current MBA students,” said Kapanjie. “With anyone being able to join the class, with no barrier to entry, it was great that all the students who stuck it out did very well.”
Though Temple is coming late too the fully open course movement, Kapanjie said this Fox effort made up for lost time.
“I think Temple’s MOOC program is one of the best because we’re delivering a real course,” said Kapanjie. “We’re grading at a traditional level, providing students the means to collaborate with one another and utilizing some online services that no else are using.”
The course was open for anyone to join free of charge and presented material in Quantitative Methods for Business out of Fox School’s Online MBA program.
Since the courses are free, many universities that are employing the MOOC system have noticed that completion rates are considerably low. However, Temple’s course was predicting a 20 percent completion rate, which is significantly higher than most programs, said Kapanjie. A final number of participants was not ready at time of publishing.
Kapanjie believes the higher rate is correlated to the course’s emphasis on student engagement.
Students enrolled in the course learned from a variety of video lectures and readings and then came together once a week through an online session to work as a group and solve specific problems.
Although many believe traditional education will remain the most demanded type of learning, Kapanjie thinks online courses, such as MOOCs, will certainly play a factor in the future.
“Online education is in its infancy,” Kapanjie said. “We still have a lot of growing to do but I think the accessible structure these courses offer works and I think it’s here to stay.”
Despite citing the success and its movement, Kapanjie said he’s not yet sure if he’s hosting a MOOC again next semester and he’s not aware of any others being planned at Temple. No word on whether that uncertainty comes from an industry wide concern about this movement’s impact on its business model.-30-