Research Paper: “Learning About Social Learning in MOOCs”

by Christopher Brinton, et al; InfoDocket

Since social learning is a key element of scalable education in MOOCs and is done via online discussion forums, our main focus is in understanding forum activities. Two salient features of MOOC forum activities drive our research: 1. High decline rate: for all courses studied, the volume of discussions in the forum declines continuously throughout the duration of the course. 2. High-volume, noisy discussions: at least 30% of the courses produce new discussion threads at rates that are infeasible for students or teaching staff to read through. Furthermore, a substantial portion of the discussions are not directly course-related. We study user behavior in the courses offered by a major Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) provider during the summer of 2013.

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