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CopyrightX Comes to a Close

Initial Observations

With the results of students’ final exams now recorded, CopyrightX—Harvard Law School’s first course offering under the auspices of HarvardX, and HarvardX’s first limited-enrollment course—has come to a close. The 12 weeks of the course generated a wealth of experiences and data that will inform analysis of the course’s design and operational features, as well as the next iteration of the course in Spring 2014.

The course sought to provide participants a deep understanding of the copyright system in the United States; a rough understanding of the ways in which the copyright systems of other countries differ from that in the U.S.; and knowledge of the primary ways in which the systems of all countries are constrained by multilateral treaties. 

To access an overview of the course design—which involved limited enrollment, hybrid pedagogy, combinations of course materials and technologies, and live events—or to see the course materials and links to press coverage, please see the CopyrightX Homepageon Professor Fisher’s personal site. This post offers some initial results about participation and performance in the course.

Of the 500 admitted students:

  • 277 (55.4%) attended the final meeting of their discussion groups;
  • 307 (61.4%) satisfied the participation requirements set by the teaching fellows;
  • 247 (49.4%) took the final examination;
  • 195 (39%) passed the examination;
  • 193 (38.6%) both passed the examination and satisfied the participation requirement – and thus earned certificates of completion.

The following table juxtaposes certain demographic subgroups of students with respect to (a) their graduation rates (i.e., the percentage of accepted students who earned certificates of completion and (b) their exam passage rates (i.e., the percentage of students taking the exam who passed it):

 

U.S.

Non-U.S.

In high school

Finished high school

In college

B.A.

M.A.

Ph.D.

J.D.

Graduation Rate

37%

42%

22%

27%

27%

38%

44%

42%

68%

Exam Passage Rate

80%

78%

66%

75%

74%

75%

82%

75%

82%

Among the interesting fruits of this comparison: U.S. residents and non-U.S. residents do not differ materially on either dimension; completion rates rise gradually with educational attainment; but the exam passage rate is remarkably consistent across groups.  The hypothesis that nonlawyers are capable of mastering copyright law finds support in these numbers.

More detailed information about students’ performance and participation, as well as the experiences of students, teaching fellows, and the course staff, will be shared in the coming months.

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