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MIT Study Finds Learning Gains For Students Who Took Free Online Course

Students in a free online physics course from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrated roughly equal learning gains if they stuck with the class — regardless of previous academic experience, researchers reported Tuesday.

Their progress also was comparable to what some MIT students showed when they were required to take the introductory course on campus as a remedial measure.

The findings offer evidence that “massive open online courses,” or MOOCs, can be an effective way to teach a broad range of people from around the world who want to learn from top-flight universities without paying tuition.