A Purposeful MOOC to Alleviate Insufficient CS Education in Finnish Schools
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Trans. Comput. Educ. (April 2015)

The Finnish national school curriculum, effective from 2004, does not include any topics related to Computer Science (CS). To alleviate the problem that school students are not able to study CS-related topics, the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki prepared a completely online course that is open to pupils and students in all schools in Finland. The course is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), as the attendance scales without an upper bound. Schools in Finland have offered the MOOC as an elective CS course for their students and granted formal school credits for completing (parts of) it. Since our MOOC is exactly the same programming course as our university-level CS1 course, we are able to use the MOOC also as a long-lasting entrance exam to the CS BSc and MSc degrees. After two spring semesters of operation, we have observed that there are school students dispersed around Finland who are ready and willing to take on a challenging programming course online, and bridging the MOOC to a full study right makes a strong incentive to keep working on the programming assignments, even without traditional teaching.
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