Professors at MIT use massive open online courses (MOOCs) to make their engineering courses available to a worldwide audience. Since MOOC students do not interact directly with the course instructor, it can be difficult to engage them.
Faculty in the math department recently worked with the MathWorks MOOC Support Program to create two of a series of five MOOCs based on the foundational course 18.03 Differential Equations. The MathWorks team helped the faculty add interactive coding examples and problems to the course by incorporating Live Scripts in MATLAB Online and automated assessment. They also reduced the time investment needed to create the MOOCs.
“The MATLAB tutorials and videos that MathWorks provided saved me hours of effort,” says Dr. Jennifer French, digital learning scientist at MIT.
Lessons and assignments from the MOOCs are now being reused to supplement course material in the on-campus version of the course. “MOOCs provide invaluable crowd-sourced editing and debugging of new material,” says French. “MOOC students tend to be vocal about reporting any problems they encounter, and we use their feedback to identify and fix errors before using the content on campus.”