San Jose State Online Classes Making Strides

After a false start, online students are clicking to the head of the class.

Students enrolled in San Jose State University's online curriculum during the summer -- one of the first in the country -- are faring better than they did in the spring, according to reports.

In results released this week, 83 percent of summer students passed classes in statistics with a C or better, up from 50.5 percent in the spring, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Online learning was pulled from the curriculum for the fall after the tough spring, but it may now return.

The point of online learning, according to Tech Crunch, is to give students an easier and cheaper option for formerly large-scale lecture classes.
"Massively Open Online Courses" -- like statistics, algebra, entry level math and Intro to Programming -- in the summer have much better results for students than they did in the spring.

Only 25 percent of Algebra students, for example, received C grades or better in spring, but 72.6 percent of students passed in the summer, the news site reported.

Instead of lectures, students learn with online videos, the newspaper reported.

The classes were pulled from the fall curriculum by the university and by Udacity, a Silicon Valley-based education group -- which may have been premature, based upon the summer results, the LA Times reported.

There are some interesting facts to note, however. One, some 71 percent of the 2,091 students enrolled in the summer were from other states or countries, and only 11 percent were students enrolled on campuses in California. And the retention rate in the "more successful" summer was 60 percent, compared to 83 percent for the string.

500 students, for example, remained in the programming class, though 15,000 others remained on the message board, which became "clogged up," the Times reported.

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