Study: Twitter Use in MOOCs

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George Veletsianos resent published a blog post about the use of Twitter in MOOCs.  The post was based on a republished article on that subject.  The study employed data mining to aggregate data from  116 MOOS “with course-dedicated hashtag” on Twitter.   His conclusion is thus:

This research used a large-scale data set to investigate participation on course-dedicated hashtags. It examined the participation patterns of hashtag participants, the types of users posting to those hashtags, the types of tweets that were posted, and the variation in types of posted tweets across users. While popular narratives suggest that social media provide a space for enhancing learner participation, this study provides
little evidence to support these claims in the context of Twitter as an adjunct to MOOCs, finding that an active minority of users contributed the preponderance of messages posted to Twitter hashtags and that learners make up only about 45% of users. Nor do these findings reveal substantive evidence of learners contributing to multiple hashtags, which may suggest that learners did not find Twitter to be a useful space that provided added value or responded to their needs. Ultimately, these results demonstrate the need for greater intentionality in integrating social media into MOOCs.

The pre-published version of this article is available here: http://www.veletsianos.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/veletsianos_twitter_in_MOOCs.pdf

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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FutureLearn Announces First US Partners

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Europe’s largest MOOC provider, FutureLearn, recently announced it first partners in the United States.  FutureLearn is owned by Open University.  It announced that five universities will be offering MOOCs on their learning platform.  Those universities are:

These schools will be offering a number of courses throughout 2017.

FutureLearn’s CEO said:

FutureLearn is proud to be at the forefront of transforming higher education, combining our social learning pedagogy with next generation technology, to deliver market-leading course engagement rates.  We work with around a quarter of the top universities in the world and are honoured to be welcoming such a stellar group of US universities to join the FutureLearn partnership. It is also incredibly exciting to be tackling the key challenge being faced across the US and the rest of the world – upskilling the workforce; something we will achieve not only with our university partners but also through partnerships with other major US National organisations, who are focused on enhancing skills in key professions.

Source

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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5 Trends for Online Education In 2017

U.S. News and World Report has a post a bout trends for 2017 of which online students should be aware.  The fire trends they list are:

  1. Greater emphasis on nontraditional credentials (i.e., microcredentials and certificates rather than degrees).
  2. Increased use of bid data to measure student performance. (To help make sure students are on track.)
  3. Greater incorporation of artificial intelligence into classes. (For student support and assistance.)
  4. Growth of nonprofit online programs.
  5. Online degrees in surprising and specialized  disciplines.  (For disciplines that might not a first seem suited for online.)

Source.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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MIT News: A MOOC Sees Its Greatest Impact In the Classroom At MIT

MIT News has an interesting article about the two versions of the Visualizing Japan course.  One version was a MOOC and the other was a face-to-face version of the course offered on the MIT campus which used the videos and quizzes from the MOOC.  The article is interesting in is look at the dual use of the MOOC content.

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Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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Inside Higher Ed: Try, Try Again

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Cal Straumsheim has an interesting article over at Inside higher Ed about Keith Devlin and his Introduction to Mathematical Thinking MOOC (offered through Coursera).  The MOOC is entering its 4th offering and Devlin talks about tweaks that have been made to boost student engagement.  These changes have increased student persistence through the first couple of weeks.

This is interesting in that it shows–as with all educational endeavors–that course offerings need to be reflected back on and adjustments made.  It does not require watering down the content to make a course more successful.  Critics also have to realize the completion rates for courses that are open for all to try are going to be lower that restricted access courses.  People are interested in trying things out.  But life does happen and some find that what they thought was interesting is not that engaging beyond a certain point.  We do not all need to be experts in all fields.  What is wrong with someone enrolling and taking away what they want to take away, even if it is short of completing the course.  Worry about complete of those who are taking it for credit and have to complete to finish a program.

The full post is here.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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Sloan-C: Managing the MOOC Momentum

Sloan-C published a post by Robert Lytle of The Parthenon Group which provides 4 “Strategic Considerations” regarding MOOCs.  Those considerations are:

  1. MOOCs As Alternative Credit
  2. MOOCs In and Out of the Classroom
  3. MOOCs as a Threat to Institutional Financial Stability
  4. MOOCs as  a Marketing Force Multiplier.

The following infographic illustrates those considerations:

The full post is available here.

 

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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Chronicle: What if You Blended Adaptive Learning With MOOCs?

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The Chronicle of Higher Education takes a look of two of the most cited “game-changing” technologies: MOOCs and Adaptive Learning software.  In a recent letter to Obama from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology it was suggested MOOCs could reduce higher ed costs and improve access.  If so, adaptive learning software could play a role.  One of those quoted in the article is Michael Feldstein of MindWires, and formerly a member of Cengage Learning’s team to build tools to personalizing the company’s digital content that supported their textbooks.  Feldstein sees a “natural marriage” between MOOCs and adaptive software.  He believes it could fill a role in compensating for the absence of hand-holding in MOOCs.

Full story here.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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MOOCs and Their Discontents

from Aljazerra.com

To say that MOOCs propagate inequality is to deny their fundamental mission and the thinking that conceived them.


Coded into the DNA of MOOCs (the unwieldy acronym for Massive Open Online Courses) is a profound sense of social, educational, and economic justice. MOOCs are courses from the world’s premier institutions of higher learning offered on a variety of platforms, the most notable of which are CourseraedX, and Udacity. They aim to bring the knowledge and expertise housed in the most selective public and private universities and deliver them to anybody around the world who has little more than a computer or tablet and a working internet connection.

They are inherently egalitarian; the fundamental principle that guides them is to universalise the availability of knowledge and human understanding from the widest possible variety of academic fields. Anant Agarwal, the president of edX,said in a recent interview, “Education is our cause. It’s really important that people around the world have access to a great education, much like the air we breathe.”

All of these points ignore the most glaring error of [Kendzior’s] article, which is to have neglected the question, what is a MOOC, and what isn’t it?

Full post here. 

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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Coursera Turns Two (Infographic)

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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AS MOOCs Move Mainstream Universities Must Pay to Play

Buck Goldstein, University Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of North Carolina, writes about his experience teaching a MOOC.  He is right that the bar for high quality, flashy courses through one of the big commercial platforms is going to cost both time and money.He estimates that the cost to produce his MOOC was $150,000.

His story is interesting, though I think his use if the word naive is apropos.  Entering an arena so highly hyped as MOOCs and having to have a flashy video production, is going to cost money.  I was recently in the first Moodle MOOC and they did a fine job with the course on a shoestring.  It even had live interactive sessions.

Full post is here.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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