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Passive MOOC Students Don’t Retain New Knowledge, Study Finds

01 May

By Danya Perez-Hernandez

Students in massive open online courses are apt to take a passive approach to learning, avoiding collaboration with others, seeking only passing grades, and therefore not retaining new knowledge, a new study has found.

Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University surveyed about 400 students who were taking the Harvard Medical School’s “Fundamentals of Clinical Trials,” a MOOC intended for health professionals and offered through the U.S.-based platform edX.

The researchers found that most students entered the course hoping to gain skills to boost their careers. As time passed, however, their main concerns shifted to completing the course and getting high scores, not practicing their newly acquired skills.

“Learners focused on activities such as watching videos and taking tests, with little evidence of learners’ relating new knowledge into practice, or connecting to their peers through the discussion board,” said Colin Milligan, a research fellow at the university, in a news release.

[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/passive-mooc-students-dont-retain-new-knowledge-study-finds/52295 ]

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Posted by on May 1, 2014 in MOOCs in the News

 

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