Case Western Reserve University’s free online courses exceeded expectations

Tens of thousands of people from around the world participated in Case Western Reserve University’s first free online classes, but the two professors involved also learned something from them, reports. For instance, they may offer more breaks during classroom lectures, because they discovered through the online courses that a student’s attention span is about 15 minutes. And they plan to add more visuals, including PowerPoint presentations, to their traditional classes. “It was a total direct improvement to my teaching,” said Michael Scharf, associate dean for global legal studies at CWRU’s law school, who offered Introduction to International Criminal Law to about 21,000 students. “It forced me to get more visual and I will use it in the classroom.”

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