To MOOC or Not to MOOC
The Calderonia Technical Institute (CTI) offers degrees in math and business. CTI was established in the early 1900s under the patronage of Kester Calderon who made a fortune in steel and automobile manufacturing. The institute is well known for the rigor and content of its course offerings and is accredited by many of the reputed international agencies. Currently, 1000 students are admitted to the institute every year who come from all over the world.
With the spread of Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) technology, the institute recently became interested in evaluating its benefits for students. One of the core courses that all students are required to take at CTI is STAT 021. Even though the best and brightest faculty teach the course in small sections, the institute’s president strongly feels that the student learning performance can potentially be further enhanced by providing a MOOC as a supplementary resource in addition to the current regular lecture classes. The chairman of the curriculum committee at the institute also thinks that MOOC can be helpful in improving students’ overall understanding of statistics concepts and provide practical problem-solving skills since computers can generate a variety of questions through simulation and adapt to individual student level and speed of learning.
Upon an investigation, CTI came across a MOOC marketed by SoftStat Inc. that may be a good fit for its students. SoftStat is a silicon-valley based educational software company that recently came out with a program that supplements student learning in statistics. On further inquiry, the company representative visited the campus and made an impressive presentation to CTI administrators showing the various capabilities of the software and its potential benefits.
Last semester, the SoftStat offered 30 free licenses for students at CTI to try out the program. CTI created a section of STAT 012 consisting of 30 randomly selected eligible students. The class was conducted with the usual lecture format (that is without using a MOOC) until the midterm examinations were concluded. However, for the second half of the course, the students were asked to use the MOOC as a supplement to the lectures. Table 1 shows the midterm and final exams scores of each student. The campus president wants you to first analyze this data and conclude if there was any statistically significant increase in student scores with the use of the MOOC. Unless there is such a significant improvement in the scores, CTI doesn’t want to pursue the MOOC technology for the time being.
On the other hand, if the results indicate the MOOC was effective in enhancing student learning, the campus plans to license the software so long as the improvement in scores justifies the cost of licensing the MOOC. It has been determined that for each point score increase in the final, the student stands to improve his/her salary potential by $250 when they graduate and join the workforce. SoftStat quotes $1000 as license fee for each student.
Your task is to prepare a consultant’s report of about 4-5 pages (including Excel output). You will be graded according to the following criteria: i) Recognition of the statistical problem in the case and identification of the appropriate statistical method to be applied, ii) Ability to analyze the raw data in Table 1 using Excel, iii) Accuracy/interpretation/ explanation of the results to CTI management, and iv) Overall quality of writing, organization, presentation of the report.