The OER Knowledge Cloud makes use of cookies. By continuing, you consent to this use. More information.
Communication patterns in massively open online courses
Journal Article
The Internet and Higher Education
Volume 23, Issue October 2014, Pages 18 - 26, Start page 18
Published October 2014

ABSTRACT
Despite the hype and speculation about the role massively open online courses (MOOCs) may play in higher education, empirical research that explores the realities of interacting and learning in MOOCs is in its infancy. MOOCs have evolved from previous incarnations of online learning but are distinguished in their global reach and semi-synchronicity. Thus, it is important to understand the ways that learners from around the world interact in these settings. In this paper, we ask three questions: (1) What are the demographic characteristics of students that participate in MOOC discussion forums? (2) What are the discussion patterns that characterize their interactions? And (3) How does participation in discussion forums relate to students' final scores? Analysis of nearly 87,000 individuals from one MOOC reveals three key trends. First, forum participants tend to be young adults from the Western world. Secondly, these participants assemble and disperse as crowds, not communities, of learners. Finally, those that engage explicitly in the discussion forums are often higher-performing than those that do not, although the vast majority of forum participants receive “failing” marks. These findings have implications for the design and implementation of future MOOCs, and how they are conceptualised as part of higher education.

Highlights
• Empirical investigations of how people interact in MOOCs warrant significant attention
• Forum participants are well-educated, primarily from the Western world, and want to gain skills that will help them professionally.
• MOOC discussion forums harbour crowds, not communities of learners.
• Higher-performing students use the discussion forums, but they do not only interact with other higher-performing students.


ISSN: 10967516
Other information: The Internet and Higher Education

Refereed: Yes
Rights: © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



Click a star to be the first to rate this document


POST A COMMENT
SIMILAR RECORDS

A social network perspective on peer supported learning in MOOCs for educators
Kellogg, Shaun; Booth, Sherry; Oliver, Kevin; McGreal, Rory; Conrad, Dianne
A recent phenomenon in the MOOC space has been the development of courses tailored to educators serving in K-12 settings. MOOCs, particularly as a form of educator professional development, face a number of challenges. ...
Match: social network analysis, MOOC, communities of practice

MOOCs in Europe: Overview of papers representing a collective European response on MOOCs as presented during the HOME conference in Rome November 2015
Bang, Joergen; Dalsgaard, Christian; Kjaer, Arne; O’Donovan, Maria; et al.
Table of contents Foreword Part 1: Regional MOOC initiatives Building OOC layers on top of existing courses (M)OOCs in Iceland: Language and learning communities EduOpen network in Italy Par
Match: MOOC, higher education, communities of practice

Identifying interaction patterns and teacher-learner roles in connectivist massive open online courses
Bozkurt, Aras
The purpose of this doctoral dissertation is to identify interaction patterns and teacher-learner roles in connectivist massive open online courses (MOOCs). To accomplish this purpose, mixed method and the explanatory ...
Match: social network analysis, MOOC

Participant association and emergent curriculum in a MOOC: Can the community be the curriculum?
Bell, Frances; Mackness, Jenny; Funes, Mariana
We investigated how participants associated with each other and developed community in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about Rhizomatic Learning (Rhizo14). We compared learner experiences in two social networking ...
Match: social network analysis, MOOC

An avalanche is coming: Higher education and the revolution ahead
Barber, Michael; Donnelly, Katelyn; Rizvi, Saad
This publication argues that the next 50 years could see a golden age for higher education, but only if all players seize the initiative and act ambitiously. If not, an avalanche of change will sweep the system away. ...
Match: MOOC, higher education

Disrupting and democratising higher education provision or entrenching academic elitism: Towards a model of MOOCs adoption at African universities
Rambe, Patient; Moeti, Mamello
Challenges of broadening access, escalating cost, maintaining desirable quality and enhancing meaningful learning experiences in African higher education (HE) have spurred debates on how to restructure higher education ...
Match: MOOC, higher education

MOOCS Massive Open Online Courses
Gaebel, Michael
Match: MOOC, higher education

OpenCases: Catalogue of mini cases on open education in Europe
Lazetic, Predrag; Souto-Otero, Manuel; Shields, Robin; dos Santos, Andreia Inamorato; et al.
This catalogue contains 50 mini cases that highlight the practices of universities and educational institutions around open education in Europe. It showcases the different strategies followed by institutions that ...
Match: MOOC, higher education

Assessment in Massive Open Online Courses
Admiraal, Wilfried; Pilli, Olga; Huisman, Bart
Open online distance learning in higher education has quickly gained popularity, expanded, and evolved, with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as the most recent development. New web technologies allow for scalable ...
Match: MOOC, higher education

Exploring co-studied Massive Open Online Course subjects via social network analysis
Jordan, Katy
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) allow students to study online courses without requiring previous experience or qualifications. This offers students the freedom to study a wide variety of topics, freed from the ...
Match: social network analysis, MOOC