So frustrated by the reporting that is not reporting about Janux in our student newspaper (below). Sigh. They don't mention the million dollars that the university spent on the platform (money paid to external company NextThought for platform; that doesn't count the enormous course development costs)... but instead they trumpet the numbers of students. Yeah, right - the usual MOOC scam, just on a smaller scale. Call it BOOC: big open online courses. Or so they claim. The article mentions that there are "1300 students" enrolled in the open version of Introduction to Computer Programming. So, I was curious. 1300 enrolled, but how many are participating? I joined the class to look, and as near as I can tell (Janux navigation is mind-bogglingly strange), there are a grand total of 37 posts to the discussion board for the entire duration of the 13 weeks of the open course so far. Here are the dates on the posts:
2 days ago: 1 post
2 weeks ago: 1 post
3 weeks ago: 2 posts
1 month ago:  4 posts
(the other 28 posts are two or three months ago)

Then I looked at some of the materials to see if maybe the activity was instead happening around the content - I checked the Review for First Midterm materials here, but no comments on the 5 items there. 

The instructor of this class is a super person, and I'm sure she is doing a great job with the for-credit version of the class in which OU students are enrolled in. But for the VP of marketing (quoted in this article) to be talking about the enrollment numbers in the class as if there really were 1300 students in the open version of the class is just not right. It looks like there are just a handful of people participating in the class - two or three? If there are more than that, they are not using any of the much vaunted social features of the very expensive platform and are just working away on their own, not interacting with anyone at the platform.

It also looks like the open version of the course I was participating in has dwindled to a non-event also, which is sad. Great teacher, great course materials (just like with Deb's programming course - the course itself is super)... but the platform is a killer; as I explain here, it is the worst by far of the four MOOC platforms I have tried (and for me to say something is worse than a Blackboard product is pretty sad, ha ha):
http://januxhsci.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-tale-of-four-moocs.html

What a shame that OU has these amazing course materials and such a poor platform to share them with the world. Maybe they will take a serious look at the numbers over the summer and figure out a better way to make these courses TRULY open and sustainable. If they are not going to work as courses (asking people to make a 15-week commitment for no credit is just not a great model, as the incredibly high MOOC dropout rates show at other schools), then maybe the time has come to talk about OERs instead of BOOCs or MOOCs, eh? Content is great; locking the content inside the rigid calendar of a course on a feature-poor platform is not.
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