Ian raises a really important issue that I don’t think is being discussed enough. I predict that computer science MOOC completers are even more white and male than in existing computing education. Replacing more face-to-face CS courses with MOOCs may be reversing the hard-fought gains we’ve made through NCWIT and NSF BPC efforts. I’ve asked both Udacity and Coursera about the demographics of their completers. Coursera said that they don’t know yet because they simply haven’t looked. Udacity said that it’s “about the same” as in existing face-to-face CS classes.
To address issues of inequality, we will have to do something different than what we are doing now, but we want to do something different that has better results. We need to be careful that we don’t make choices that lead us to a worse place than we are now.
Here’s a concrete proposal: Any institution that belongs…
View original post 547 more words