I first taught Economics 212 – Personal Investing online in Fall semester, 2013, so this was my second offering. It went much better this semester, for two reasons–one under my control and the other not. I think the cohort of students was just different, and a little more engaged. Perhaps a little older and more experienced, particularly with regard to finance. I take no responsibility for that factor. But the course was also better organized, and the TA more involved, which is always a positive thing.
Last semester I thought the Discussions were the weak aspect, and I still believe that to be true. Consequently I am going to offer in-person discussions next Fall, but keep the course otherwise the same, including the online discussions. I just want to see how important real-time, in-person communication is to the feeling of successful education.
How did the students do? Below is the grade distribution. You can see that 7 (9%) of the students who started the course didn’t finish it. Of the 70 that finished the course only 1 (1%) failed or got below 500/1000. Over 53% earned a grade of A (A-, A or A+.) Since this is not an easy course, I like to think the grades reflect good learning, good performance, and a level of satisfaction with the educational experience.