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Penn GSE AHEAD

NEW @ AHEAD

The Office of the Provost has selected Penn GSE’s Dr. Laura Perna as a 2014 Penn Fellow. Penn Fellows are recognized as up-and-coming leaders in Penn’s distinguished faculty, and over the next year, they will work to develop cross-university networks, think strategically about higher education and the future of Penn, and build leadership capacity across the University. Dr. Perna, a nationally renowned expert on access, choice, and equity in higher education, is a member of GSE’s Higher Education Division.

​American adults have fallen behind their international peers in reading, math and problem-solving skills just as the economy demands more technologically adept workers, according to a November 2013 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report. A new issue brief from ACE examines those results in the context of the “learning economy” and what actions might be taken collectively by higher education institutions, policymakers, adult educators and others to address this challenge.

Emerging data from a new AHEAD study show that massive open online courses (MOOCs) have relatively few active users, that user “engagement” falls off dramatically—especially after the first 1-2 weeks of a course—and that few users persist to the course end. Laura Perna and Alan Ruby presented the findings at the MOOC Research Initiative Conference in Texas in December.

AHEAD's new study on the lifecycle of MOOCs users was recently featured on the homepage of The New York Times. The study found that "on average, only about half of those who registered for a course ever viewed a lecture, and only about 4 percent completed the courses."

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