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How learners’ interactions sustain engagement: a MOOC case study

How learners’ interactions sustain engagement: a MOOC case study
How learners’ interactions sustain engagement: a MOOC case study
In 2015, 35 million learners participated online in 4,200 MOOCs organised by over 500 universities. Learning designers orchestrate MOOC content to engage learners at scale and retain interest by carefully mixing videos, lectures, readings, quizzes, and discussions. Universally, far fewer people actually participate in MOOCs than originally sign up with a steady attrition as courses progress. Studies have correlated social engagement to completion rates. The FutureLearn MOOC platform specifically provides opportunities to share opinions and to reflect by posting comments, replying, or following discussion threads. This paper investigates learners’ social behaviours in MOOCs and the impact of engagement on course completion. A preliminary study suggested that dropout rates will be lower when learners engage in repeated and frequent social interactions. We subsequently reviewed the literature of prediction models and applied social network analysis techniques to characterise participants’ online interactions examining implications for participant achievements. We analysed discussions in an eight week FutureLearn MOOC, with 9855 enrolled learners. Findings indicate that if learners starts following someone, the probability of their finishing the course is increased; if learners also interact with those they follow, they are highly likely to complete, both important factors to add to the prediction of completion model.
1939-1382
475-487
Sunar, Ayse Saliha
8a121335-66ed-4a7a-93b2-eb8194b89868
White, Su
5f9a277b-df62-4079-ae97-b9c35264c146
Abdullah, Nor Aniza
44443c5c-daab-4541-a89a-5220c6f81273
Davis, Hugh
1608a3c8-0920-4a0c-82b3-ee29a52e7c1b
Sunar, Ayse Saliha
8a121335-66ed-4a7a-93b2-eb8194b89868
White, Su
5f9a277b-df62-4079-ae97-b9c35264c146
Abdullah, Nor Aniza
44443c5c-daab-4541-a89a-5220c6f81273
Davis, Hugh
1608a3c8-0920-4a0c-82b3-ee29a52e7c1b

Sunar, Ayse Saliha, White, Su, Abdullah, Nor Aniza and Davis, Hugh (2017) How learners’ interactions sustain engagement: a MOOC case study. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 10 (4), 475-487. (doi:10.1109/TLT.2016.2633268).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In 2015, 35 million learners participated online in 4,200 MOOCs organised by over 500 universities. Learning designers orchestrate MOOC content to engage learners at scale and retain interest by carefully mixing videos, lectures, readings, quizzes, and discussions. Universally, far fewer people actually participate in MOOCs than originally sign up with a steady attrition as courses progress. Studies have correlated social engagement to completion rates. The FutureLearn MOOC platform specifically provides opportunities to share opinions and to reflect by posting comments, replying, or following discussion threads. This paper investigates learners’ social behaviours in MOOCs and the impact of engagement on course completion. A preliminary study suggested that dropout rates will be lower when learners engage in repeated and frequent social interactions. We subsequently reviewed the literature of prediction models and applied social network analysis techniques to characterise participants’ online interactions examining implications for participant achievements. We analysed discussions in an eight week FutureLearn MOOC, with 9855 enrolled learners. Findings indicate that if learners starts following someone, the probability of their finishing the course is increased; if learners also interact with those they follow, they are highly likely to complete, both important factors to add to the prediction of completion model.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 November 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 November 2016
Published date: 2017
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 398751
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/398751
ISSN: 1939-1382
PURE UUID: 184464a8-43d3-4a8c-9afb-b8f3704a9c3b
ORCID for Su White: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9588-5275
ORCID for Hugh Davis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1182-1459

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Nov 2016 16:28
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:43

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