schools try Massive Open Online Courses

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May 5, 2014 at 10:29 am

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — It's been a reality check for Massive Open Online Courses.

The free online courses that universities offer to the public were once hailed as an innovation that could revolutionize higher education. Now many in the industry are scaling back expectations, saying they don't perform as well supporters had hoped, with high dropout rates and lower student performance.

But Minnesota Public Radio reports that two Minnesota schools see value in them and are pressing on. They say the courses help faculty perfect their teaching and even prompt students to take more traditional classes.

University of Minnesota Provost Karen Hanson says MOOCs are still a major innovation in education. She says figuring out how best to use them will require experience.

The College of St. Scholastica also offers the online courses.

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