Massive open online courses have unveiled a gold mine of data to University faculty and staff, The Daily Illini reports.

Typically, instructors evaluating the effectiveness of their teaching styles can only gather data from relatively small classes. But with the help of data from massive open online courses, or MOOCs, an instructor’s sample size expands from 50 to 50,000 participants.

“Nobody else has a data set like that to explore,” said Chuck Tucker, co-chair of the MOOC Strategy Advisory Committee. “There is data that you can get from a MOOC — from Coursera — that you can’t get from anywhere else. That...

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