Can 90,000 students online make colleges better?

This week not just elementary and high school students, but also college students head back to class, KUHF reports. This year universities in Houston are expanding their role in one of the hottest topics in higher education. Rice University professors start one of their most popular classes in an unusual way. … “Ok are you ready? Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock — Shoot!” That’s Scott Rixner, Joe Warren and other Rice instructors. They’re playing a game from the TV show the Big Bang Theory. And, yes, they have the T-shirts to match. “I’m scissors, You’re scissors, Oh you’re scissors — No!” This is a class on a computer programming language called Python. It’s a massive open online course or MOOC. Just how massive? Try 90,000 students enrolling in one session. Rixner says the size made them really think about their teaching. … This year Rice University is expanding its number of massive open online classes. A new series is targeted to K-12 teachers in science, technology, engineering and math. … Rixner says the experience has made them better teachers.