Online Learning Update

July 25, 2014

MOOC dropouts – What we learn from students who leave

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by Sherif Halawa, University World News

The wide gamut of interactions that MOOC platforms record helps us not only to predict and understand more about dropouts but also to distinguish between learners who leave because of lack of time, learners who leave because of lack of motivation and learners who leave because of course difficulty. In a classroom setting, the teacher can observe students’ active engagement with a discussion, but cannot measure non-participating students’ engagement (whether or not they are silently following the discussion). MOOCs record forum post visits even for students who never post to the forum. MOOC forums also record conversations between students, which is difficult to capture in a classroom setting. In a dropout diagnosis experiment, we asked students to self-report on their state of perceived course difficulty, motivation and their amount of weekly free time. Analysis of respondents’ learning interaction data revealed that certain behaviours are associated with high or low levels of each of these three factors.

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