Wake Tech Is First NC Community College to Offer MOOC

May 1st, 2013


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College Launches Online Math Prep Course

RALEIGH, N.C. (May 1, 2013)Wake Tech Community College today became the first community college in North Carolina – and one of the first in the country – to launch a Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC. The MOOC format is intended for large-scale participation and offers open access to higher education via the web. The Wake Tech course is Introductory Algebra Review, designed to serve as a supplement to seated classes in developmental math and to prepare students for the North Carolina diagnostic math exam. It is totally online, self-paced and free. Anyone in the world can register for it.

“Math presents challenges for many students – for many reasons,” says Laura Kalbaugh, Dean of Academic and Transition Resources at Wake Tech. “More than half of the students who apply for admission to Wake Tech are not ready for college-level math. This MOOC will help them perform better on math placement tests and in some cases place into college-level math courses.”

The Introductory Algebra Review MOOC covers the first five modules of the developmental math curriculum established by the North Carolina Community College System: Operations with Integers; Fractions and Decimals; Proportions/Ratios/Rates/Percents; Expressions, Linear Equations, Linear Inequalities; and Graphs and Equations of Lines.

The MOOC was developed through a partnership with Udacity, an online learning platform created by former Stanford University faculty and funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Students can enroll directly on the Udacity website or by visiting http://mooc.waketech.edu.

“This new format has the potential to be a real game changer in community colleges, and in higher education in general,” says Wake Tech President Dr. Stephen Scott, “Harvard, Stanford, and other elite universities have pioneered these open courses for advanced classes with great success; we think community colleges can also use the format to deliver high-demand, high-impact courses to more people than ever before.”

The new MOOC was created by a team of Wake Tech instructors. The college has more than 15 years of experience in distance education and plans to develop other MOOCs to supplement instruction or prepare students for testing.

 

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