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Consistent Commitment: Patterns of Engagement across Time in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Ferguson, Rebecca and Clow, Doug (2015). Consistent Commitment: Patterns of Engagement across Time in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Journal of Learning Analytics, 2(3) pp. 55–80.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.18608/jla.2015.23.5
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Abstract

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are being used across the world to provide millions of learners with access to education. Many who begin these courses complete them successfully, or to their own satisfaction, but the high numbers who do not finish remain a subject of concern. In 2013, a team from Stanford University analyzed engagement patterns on three MOOCs run on the Coursera platform. They found four distinct patterns of engagement that emerged from MOOCs based on videos and assessments. Subsequent studies on the FutureLearn platform, which is underpinned by social-constructivist pedagogy, indicate that patterns of engagement in these massive learning environments may be influenced by decisions about pedagogy and learning design. This paper reports on two of these studies of learner engagement with FutureLearn courses. Study One first tries, not wholly successfully, to replicate the findings of the Coursera study in a new context. It then uses the same methodological approach to identify patterns of learner engagement on the FutureLearn platform, and explores how these patterns may have been influenced by pedagogy and elements of learning design. Study Two investigates whether these patterns of engagement are stable on subsequent presentations of the same courses. Two patterns are found consistently in this and other work: samplers who visit briefly, and completers who fully engage with the course. The paper concludes by exploring the implications for both research and practice.

Item Type: Article
Copyright Holders: 2016 The Journal of Learning Analytics
ISSN: 1929-7750
Keywords: learning analytics; MOOCs; engagement
Academic Unit/School: Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 45380
Depositing User: Rebecca Ferguson
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2016 14:36
Last Modified: 15 May 2017 23:17
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/45380
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