Some parents who organized against the Summit Learning platform say there's no need to change what's worked in the past. Administrators and some parents praised the program, but it faced criticism from others who said their children were spending too much time online, some content was inappropriate, and students were not getting enough direct guidance. Superintendent Jeffrey Solan said this week he accepted the change was too much, too soon for some. The program was developed by a California charter school network and has signed up over 300 schools to use its blend of technology with go-at-your-own-pace personalized learning.
Completing online courses can be daunting, but that's particularly true if you're in a developing part of the world. It's too easy to feel like you don't belong. Researchers may have a solution, though: giving you activities that help you fit in. An MIT and Stanford study has shown that brief psychological "interventions" can dramatically increase the completion rates for online courses in less developed regions. One of these boosts involved reading testimonials from earlier students who overcame that lack of belonging, while another involved writing a short explanation of how the course reflects and serves their values.
If you didn't like piano lessons as a kid, then you might be missing out. Chances are, playing the piano has been on your bucket list for some time now, but you don't have the time or energy to sign up for lessons. This online class, appropriately called Learn How to Play The Piano, can help. The course is available 24/7 and features nine modules (a total of 12 hours of content) that will take you from beginner to tolerable piano player in no time. First, you'll learn the importance of middle C and how to play with your right and left hands separately.
These papers have not been peer-reviewed, but are circulated by their authors for comment and discussion. With the NBER's blessing, Making Sen$e is pleased to feature these summaries regularly on our page. The following summary was written by the NBER and doesn't necessarily reflect the views of Making Sen$e. Online coursework has been heralded as potentially transformative for higher education, but little is known about whether it increases the number of people pursuing education or simply substitutes for existing options. In "Can Online Delivery Increase Access to Education?"