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Interactive Online Learning on Campus: Testing MOOCs and Other Platforms in Hybrid Formats in the University System of Maryland

Ithaka S+R collaborated with the University System of Maryland to test the use of interactive online learning platforms in seventeen courses across seven universities. Fourteen of these tests used Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on the Coursera platform, almost all embedded in hybrid course formats, and three used courses from the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University (OLI). We conducted seven side-by-side comparisons to evaluate outcomes of students in hybrid sections with those of students in traditionally taught courses, controlling for student background characteristics. In addition, we conducted ten case studies using MOOCs in smaller courses using a range of approaches. For all tests we collected detailed data on the time it took for local instructors to plan and deliver their courses. We also documented the implementation process in order to share what we learned about opportunities and challenges associated with embedding existing content in campus environments.

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