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Next step for MOOCs: Helping with remedial math

A free online math course being developed by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse could dramatically reduce the need for students to take remedial math when they start college and put them on a faster, less expensive track to graduation, the UW System announced.

A growing number of freshmen in the UW System and elsewhere need remedial math when they start college. As of 2007—the latest data available—21 percent of UW System freshmen did not have the necessary skills to succeed in college-level math. Among underrepresented minority students, the percentage was significantly higher (40 percent).

Nationally, about 25 percent of high school graduates require remedial math in college, according to the UW System.

With a $50,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UW-La Crosse is leading the development of a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed to quickly boost students’ math proficiency.

The free, six-week online math course will be available to high school students who want to assess their college readiness, as well as nontraditional students who either are preparing to return to college or who want to improve their math skills to advance career goals, according to the UW System.

To read the full story on our higher-education site,, click here.

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