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January 30, 2013

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Laurie Nylund

I'm a training junkie, and I couldn't count the number of in-person and online events I've attended. Content DOES matter as to size. Learning detailed manipulation of a complex piece of software is very different than learning about branding/gamification, a class I recently took. But, I think it is actually easier and more effective to teach online than on-site. There *is* such a thing as too big, but with really good tools, I think a 100 students in an on-line class with an experienced instructor is fine, if the material and process is well-crafted. A MOOC of 1000 or more people, it depends. I have a little experience with Coursera (one class), and it was only so-so. But, I intend to take another class, so I have an open mind about it still. Personally, I think this is the direction public education should take, with a few caveats...

Still, the best experiences I've had were in the 25-30 student range. Not too big for an instructor who has to "score" classwork. Enough for diverse interaction, with room for everyone to participate, and you probably get the added perk of making a connection to somebody that lives beyond the class with that size. Somebody's gonna ask that question that you didn't think of or that you worried made you look foolish.

AJ

Thanks for your comment Laurie!

Rebecca OGM

Hi there, class size is an important factor when designing a course. I have found that in an online course that requires a lot of facilitating and interactions around 15 participants is best. However, if you have 30 students you can divide them into two groups. I've done a few MOOCs and have found that participants end up interacting in groups with similar minded people.

Likewise with Laurie, the way the content is delivered has a massive impact on how many people will successfully be able to take the course.

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