Data Mining Exposes Embarrassing Problems For Massive Open Online Courses: There is no dialogue

no surprise to anyone who has actually endured the experience of the average MOOC forum…

Computing Education Blog

Interesting article studying the lack of discussion in MOOC discussion forums.  I’m surprised that the teacher involvement doesn’t improve matters.  It may be that the scale swamps out the teacher demonstrating value for the discussion.  Our past work in CSCL suggests that the culture of the class (e.g., the subject, the rewards structure, etc.) influences discussion behavior, and that they’d get more on-target discussion with anchored collaboration.

These guys have studied the behaviour in online discussion forums of over 100,000 students taking massive open online courses (or MOOCs).

And they have depressing news. They say that participation falls precipitously and continuously throughout a course and that almost half of registered students never post more than twice to the forums. What’s more, the participation of a teacher doesn’t improve matters. Indeed, they say there is some evidence that a teacher’s participation in an online discussion actually increases the rate of…

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