Posts tagged learning analytics

Opening University Education to the World and Improve Education

Paper presented at the ICERI 2016 conference, 14th-16th November 2016, Seville, Spain.

Abstract

Online education can be used as a catalyst for gaining knowledge on learning and learning processes due to its generation of massive corpora of data on student behaviour. This knowledge can then be utilized to improve the quality of education.

Since 2013 Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) offers online courses for a global population of lifelong learners through its programme for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). TU Delft’s MOOC programme was created with three specific goals:
(i) to deliver high quality open & online education (O2E) to the world;
(ii) to improve education; and
(iii) to grow research output. Since its inception, TU Delft’s MOOC programme has created and run over forty MOOCs, gaining nearly a million enrolled students in the process.

As TU Delft’s MOOC programme developed and expanded over time, an organisational structure was created in which educational processes and research activities were aligned and integrated. This organisational structure supports three research agendas:
(i) course evaluation, which focuses on post-course analysis;
(ii) research-driven innovation through short-cycled research projects; and
(iii) long-term experimental research with a specific focus on big data and learning analytics.

Through the integrated organisational structure, data is simultaneously collected for all three research agendas. This includes user feedback through survey data for course evaluation; user enrolment and activity data for the short-cycled research projects; and data from experiments for the long-term research. Analysing this data has resulted in dozens of course evaluation reports, business and marketing analyses, cross-course analyses, internal reports on student learning behaviour, and a substantial number of peer-reviewed academic papers about results of learning analytics and pedagogical innovations. This output has been useful for their individual research tracks, but combining the results has provided TU Delft with additional insights only attainable by careful synchronization of the three. TU Delft has benefited from these insights and has adapted to the findings both in online and on-campus course design. TU Delft’s MOOC programme provides a valuable environment for innovating educational design experience and developing new educational delivery strategies that can also be used to improve on-campus education.

Future plans build on the current organisational structure and include:
(i) using the results from learning analytics interventions experiments to build a learning analytics ‘suite’ for all online courses;
(ii) testing and validating TU Delft’s proprietary Online Learning Experience (OLE) pedagogical model for online course design; and
(iii) using these experiences to transform and improve on-campus education.

First steps in these matters are already under way with the acquisition of a new digital learning environment and its accompanying learning analytics suite for on-campus education. This way the MOOC programme serves TU Delft’s strategic goals of both educating the world and improving the quality of its online and on-campus education.

Keywords

higher education, innovation, learning analytics, massive open online courses (moocs), links between education and research.

Reference

J.P. van Staalduinen, D. Davis, S. Topolovec (2016) OPENING UNIVERSITY EDUCATION TO THE WORLD AND IMPROVING EDUCATION: USING MOOC-BASED RESEARCH AS A TOOL FOR INNOVATION, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 7336-7343.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union; the Erasmus+ Forward Looking Cooperation STELA Project, number 562167-EPP-1-2015-BE-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD.

LAK15: Scalability and Flexibility through Open Research

Abstract

Delft University of Technology (TUD) is the largest university of engineering sciences in the Netherlands. TUD has been an active member of the Open Resources Movement since 2007 and in 2012 it has joined the EdX consortium. Openness in research and education is central in the TUD mission. It was the first edX partner to issue all its MOOCs under a creative commons license. In this presentation, we present our open research approach and toolbox. This toolbox facilitates sharing of data and the process of collaborative research in the context of MOOCs/online education. The presentation explains our rationale for open research, and our experiences with the toolbox, including research highlights.

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