By Michael Hart
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have published a study that suggests students may be more likely to stick with massive open online courses (MOOCs) if they use Facebook.
Saijing Zheng, a former doctoral student at Penn State and current research scientist at Microsoft led the research and said she found that open course students were more engaged on Facebook groups and preferred interacting more on the social media site than through the course tools. That may be good news for MOOC instructors who, according to Zheng, get frustrated because 90 percent of students who enroll in MOOCs leave the course after less than two weeks.
“Social media may provide another communication channel for the students,” Zheng said. “Current MOOC platforms do not include collaborative features for students to work together or good conversation channels between students and between students and teachers.”
Interacting with fellow students and teachers in Facebook groups and other social media sites is sometimes easier than through the conventional course tools. One advantage of Facebook groups is that users tend to sign up with their real names while students can create fake personas on course message boards and forums.
[ Full article available at Campus Technology: https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/04/28/research-facebook-may-keep-students-in-moocs.aspx ]