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What learners do during MOOCs–and why it matters

11 Sep

A new report examines learner activities during MOOCs, and the importance of integrating certain tools

By Ronald Bethke

mooc-accessibilityCourse design may take a back seat to personal and environmental factors, and notetaking is just as critical during MOOCs as in face-to-face courses. These are just a few of the findings of new qualitative research that examines the experiences and practices of students who participate in MOOCs.

Published by Dr. George Veletsianos and two other colleagues in the British Journal of Educational Technology in May this year, the study aims to provide an understanding of how people experience MOOCs and why they engage in particular activities in the ways that they do.

The paper argues that up to this point, most research that details student behavior during MOOCs has been limited by researchers’ reliance on log file analyses and clickstream data to make inferences about learner behaviors. The paper aims to represent a major step forward in Dr. Veletsianos’ continued work towards learning more about the experiences of students within MOOCs.

Through interviews with 13 MOOC participants (ages 25-67), the paper was able to identify and make suggestions regarding three major areas of interest: interactions in social networks outside of the MOOC platform, notetaking and consuming content.

Connections Happen, Even if the MOOC Isn’t Effective

The first of the three major findings regarded interactions in social networks outside of the MOOC platform. This area of study places importance on the connections made while a student is participating in a course, such as digital connections with other participants in a MOOC, face-to-face interactions with friends and family, and face-to-face interactions with new connections made through a MOOC.

[ Full article available at eCampus News: http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/mooc-learner-experiences-769/ ]

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Posted by on September 11, 2015 in Best Practices, MOOCs in the News

 

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