ERIC Number: EJ1163988
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
How Learners' Interactions Sustain Engagement: A MOOC Case Study
Sunar, Ayse Saliha; White, Su; Abdullah, Nor Aniza; Davis, Hugh C.
IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, v10 n4 p475-487 Oct-Dec 2017
In 2015, 35 million learners participated online in 4,200 MOOCs organized 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 behaviors 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 characterize participants' online interactions examining implications for participant achievements. We analyzed discussions in an eight week FutureLearn MOOC, with 9,855 enrolled learners. Findings indicate that if a learner 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.
Descriptors: Online Courses, Large Group Instruction, Interaction, Learner Engagement, Interpersonal Relationship, Persistence, Dropout Rate, Prediction, Network Analysis, Probability, Foreign Countries, Computer Mediated Communication, Group Discussion, Case Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A