MIT news has a nice summary piece on a good assessment of one of MITx’s massive open online courses (MOOC). You can read the summary piece here, or the original article here. Their assessment is centered around what might be called web server analysis. Though the group is still sorting through the data, they found some interesting trends in the way students use the online resources. When doing homework, students defaulted to the video of the lectures, yet when taking the exams they utilized the online textbooks.
Students who participated in the online forums where more likely to succeed at the course. The oft mentioned statistics describing the precipitous drop-off in students who start the course and actually finish did not pack the same punch when researchers took a closer look at how many students were actually taking the the course.