LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—Students needing some help preparing for college math classes can take advantage of UW-La Crosse's Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC for short.
It's a free course open to anyone in the world.
"You can take it for a variety of reasons," Bob Hoar, Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs said. "Some are high school students preparing for college. Some are in college but haven't taken a math class yet, others are home school kids."
You can work on the class whenever you feel like it.
"There are really two paths through the course," Hoar said. "They can stay with the instructor and move at the pace the instructor is moving or they can drop back and move at their own pace."
Students have five years to finish the class, but it usually takes one semester.
"The grades they receive in the course," Hoar said. "On a week by week basis, give them the ability to move forward in the material. So if they don't do well they need to redo that unit."
Students don't get any credit for the class and it doesn't show up on their transcript, but it may get them out of remedial math classes.
"It does save on tuition and it gets you closer to graduation by getting you into your first credit bearing class," Hoar said.
More than 2,000 people have signed up for the class in 40 different countries. UW-L hasn't been tracking them all, but 73 out of 75 UW-L students that made it through the class, over the last two summers, scored high enough on their placement test to begin college math.
UW-L received a $20,000 grant to study the effectiveness of MOOC from Athabasca University's MOOC Research Initiative, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
UW-L students will help with the research; they hope this shows them what's working for different groups of people so they can tailor the course.
To sign up for MOOC click here.
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