Assessment of Online Education Initiatives


Evaluation projects investigating factors that support student success in online learning environments. 


Alongside the explosion of interest in online education and the emergence of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) comes the need to understand how students experience and succeed in these educational environments. The RP Group is currently conducting research that will contribute to an developing base of evidence about (1) who participates, persists and completes in the online setting and (2) what makes these online approaches work for students and faculty.


San José State University (SJSU) – Udacity Research

The RP Group worked with SJSU to conduct research on a National Science Foundation funded partnership between SJSU and MOOC provider Udacity. Coined “SJSU Plus”, this initiative launched in spring 2013 with SJSU courses delivered online for credit using the Udacity MOOC platform. The first iteration of SJSU Plus included three Augmented Online Learning Environments (AOLE) courses—one remedial and two introductory courses most SJSU students take to meet graduation requirements.

Learn what the RP Group found when assessing the impact of these SJSU Plus courses on students’ outcomes.

Evaluation Report


Basic Skills MOOC Evaluation – Mt. San Jacinto College

The RP Group is conducting research on how MOOCs can most effectively support developmental education. The subject of the study is a one-unit five-week remedial writing course offered by Mt. San Jacinto College through the Coursera platform. Working in partnership with the CSU President’s Office, the RP Group is identifying early predictors of persistence and success for different groups of students. The research was recently selected by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as one of 25 studies to be presented in an international conference on MOOC education that will be held at Athabasca University in December 2013.

Learn more about the Gates Foundation initiative.

MOOC Research Initiative 


For more information on this project, contact Eva Schiorring, Senior Researcher, RP Group,