MOOC research: Which path to success?

These days, just like Love*,  MOOCs are all around, and researchers are increasingly looking to explore what factors affect and improve the low completion rates. Moodle HQ has run a MOOC since 2013, the twice yearly Learn Moodle Basics MOOC , and it provides useful data for MOOC research.**

At the start of each Learn Moodle  Basics MOOC, participants are asked if they want to view the four weeks of course materials all at once, to get a general overview, or if they want them released one week at a time, to avoid information overload. Based on their choice, participants are added to a group and navigate the MOOC using the path they prefer. Moodle Community Manager Helen Foster and myself thought it would be interesting to investigate the reasons why participants choose one path or another, and whether one path is more likely to lead to completion than another.

The results of the mini-study are available here: Learn Moodle: Step by Step or All at Once? Factors affecting choice of access to content in a Learn Moodle MOOC and their effect on MOOC completion rates and here’s an introduction:

The study was undertaken as part of Edinburgh Napier MSc in Blended and Online Education and is a digital dissertation, rather than a traditional word-processed document. Of course, a study on Moodle has to  be delivered via Moodle!  For this reason, the link leads to a Moodle course with a Moodle Book and several explanatory screencasts. The study can also be downloaded in PDF format from the cog/gear icon.

And the results? Well some elements surprised us; some did not surprise us.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Is_All_Around

** See also, courtesy of Moodle HQ’s Lead Data Scientist David Monllau Olivé: A supervised learning framework: using assessment to identify students at risk of dropping out of a MOOC,

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