OER1159 Oral Presentation pptx

Thursday 12 May 15.15 Breakout Room 4/4a

More students, new instructors: measuring the effectiveness of the OLI statistics course in accelerating student learning

Marsha Lovett, Oded Meyer & Candace Thille, Carnegie Mellon University

Conference Theme: Academic practice and digital scholarship

Abstract: As part of the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) project, Carnegie Mellon University was funded to develop a web-based introductory statistics course, openly and freely available to individual learners online and designed so that students can learn effectively without an instructor. In practice, this course is often used by instructors in "blended" mode, to support and complement face-to-face classroom instruction. This paper continues our previous work (Lovett, Meyer & Thille, 2008) studying the effectiveness of the OLI-Statistics course. In that work, we showed that students completing the course with no additional face-to-face instruction learned as much as students in a traditional lecture course. We also tested the Accelerated Learning Hypothesis, namely, that students learning with OLI-Statistics in blended mode can effectively learn a full semester's worth of material in approximately half the time as students in a traditional course. These blended-mode students used the online course for eight (instead of the traditional 15) weeks and met with an instructor two (instead of the traditional four) times per week. Before each of these twice-weekly sessions, the instructor used the online system to identify which concepts students were struggling with and then adapted his instruction accordingly. After briefly reviewing the successful results of that study, we present two new replication/extension studies – one with a larger student enrollment in the accelerated, blended-mode course and the other with a new instructor (someone who had never used OLI) teaching the accelerated, blended-mode course. In both of these studies, the OLI students learned as much or more than students in a traditional course, and they did so in approximately half the time. We describe the design, results and limitations of these studies and discuss the implication of our results for finding the "perfect" blend between an instructor and an online course for teaching introductory statistics.

Keywords: oer; evaluating effectiveness; accelerated learning; blended instruction; quality monitoring


Lovett, M., Meyer, O., & Thille, C. (2008). The Open learning initiative: Measuring the effectiveness of the OLI statistics course in accelerating student learning. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, http://jime.open.ac.uk/2008/14/.