San Jose State online initiative to expand in Cal State system

San Jose State online initiative to expand in Cal State system
San Jose State’s collaboration for online engineering course will be broadened to other Cal State University campuses.
(Paul Sakuma / Associated Press)

An online engineering course at San Jose State University that has shown promise in improving student performance will be expanded to 11 other California State University campuses next fall, officials announced Wednesday.

The San Jose campus, which has been a leader in adopting new technologies, will also establish a new Center for Excellence in Adaptive and Blended Learning to train faculty members from other campuses interested in offering the class.


The initiative was announced at a news conference attended by Lt Gov. Gavin Newsom, who along with Gov. Jerry Brown, has been pushing universities to pursue online education as a way to curtail costs and serve more students.

San Jose State began offering the course in circuits and electronics last year in a collaboration with edX, a nonprofit founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to offer online interactive university-level courses.


The engineering course was created by MIT and includes lecture videos. The San Jose project incorporates those with classroom discussions led by the school’s professors. Early results found students in this blended class setting passed at a rate of 91%, compared to a 55% pass rate for students in the conventional class.

The experiment is poised to expand to other courses in the sciences, humanities, business and social sciences, officials said.

This year, San Jose State partnered with the Silicon Valley online education group Udacity to offer low-cost, online classes in high-demand entry-level math classes. 

“The work we’re doing with edX coupled with Udacity will help us be able to serve a larger number of students and not only serve them but help a larger number of them graduate,” said San Jose State President Mohammad Qayoumi.



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