Posts tagged mooc

Enabling Real-Time Adaptivity in MOOCs with a Personalized Next-Step Recommendation Framework

This paper is presented at the Fourth (2017) ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale in Cambridge (MA), USA, April 20–21, 2017.

Abstract

In this paper, we demonstrate a first-of-its-kind adaptive intervention in a MOOC utilizing real-time clickstream data and a novel machine learned model of behavior. We detail how we
augmented the edX platform with the capabilities necessary to support this type of intervention which required both tracking learners’ behaviors in real-time and dynamically adapting content based on each learner’s individual clickstream history. Our chosen pilot intervention was in the category of adaptive pathways and courseware and took the form of a navigational suggestion appearing at the bottom of every non-forum content page in the course. We designed our pilot intervention to help students more efficiently navigate their way through a MOOC by predicting the next page they were likely to spend significant time on and allowing them to jump directly to that page. While interventions which attempt to optimize for learner achievement are candidates for this adaptive framework, behavior prediction has the benefit of not requiring causal assumptions to be made in its suggestions. We present a novel extension of a behavioral model that takes into account students’ time spent on pages and forecasts the same. Several approaches to representing time using Recurrent Neural Networks are evaluated and compared to baselines without time, including a basic n-gram model. Finally, we discuss design considerations and handling of edge cases for real-time deployment, including considerations for training a machine learned model on a previous offering of a course for use in a subsequent offering where courseware may have changed. This work opens the door to broad experimentation with adaptivity and serves as a first example of delivering a data-driven personalized learning experience in a MOOC.

Keywords

Adaptivity; Personalization; Real-time intervention; MOOC; RNN; Behavioral modeling; Navigational efficiency; edX

Reference

Zachary A. Pardos, Steven Tang, Daniel Davis, and Christopher Vu Le. 2017. Enabling Real-Time Adaptivity in MOOCs with a Personalized Next-Step Recommendation Framework. In Proceedings of the Fourth (2017) ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale (L@S ’17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 23-32. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3051457.3051471

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Teaching Software Engineering Principles to K-12 Students: A MOOC on Scratch

This paper is accepted for Software Engineering Education and Training @ 39th International Conference on Software Engineering (SEET-ICSE 2017) in Buenos Aires in May 2017.

Abstract

In the last few years, many books, online puzzles, apps and games have been created to teach young children programming. However, most of these do not introduce children to broader concepts from software engineering, such as debugging and code quality issues like smells, duplication, refactoring and naming. To address this, we designed and ran an online introductory Scratch programming course in which we teach elementary programming concepts and software engineering concepts simultaneously. In total 2,220 children actively participated in our course in June and July 2016, most of which (73%) between the ages of 7 and 11. In this paper we describe our course design and analyze the resulting data. More specifically, we investigate whether 1) students find programming concepts more difficult than software engineering concepts, 2) there are age-related differences in their performance and 3) we can predict successful course completion. Our results show that there is no difference in students’ scores between the programming concepts and the software engineering concepts, suggesting that it is indeed possible to teach these concepts to this age group. We also find that students over 12 years of age perform significantly better in
questions related to operators and procedures. Finally, we identify the factors from the students’ profile and their behaviour in the first week of the course that can be used to predict its successful completion.

Keywords

Programming education, MOOC, Scratch, code, smells, dropout prediction

Reference

Felienne Hermans, Efthimia Aivaloglou (2017) Teaching Software Engineering Principles to K-12 Students: A MOOC on Scratch. TUD-SERG-2017-003. ISSN 1872-5392

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Can Learners be Earners? Investigating a Design to Enable MOOC Learners to Apply their Skills and Earn Money in an Online Market Place

This article is published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies.

Abstract

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) aim to educate the world. More often than not, however, MOOCs fall short of this goal — a majority of learners are already highly educated (with a Bachelor degree or more) and come from specific parts of the (developed) world. Learners from developing countries without a higher degree are underrepresented, though desired, in MOOCs. One reason for those learners to drop out of a course can be found in their financial realities and the subsequent limited amount of time they can dedicate to a course besides earning a living. If we could pay learners to take a MOOC, this hurdle would largely disappear. With MOOCS, this leads to the following fundamental challenge: How can learners be paid at scale? Ultimately, we envision a recommendation engine that recommends tasks from online market places such as Upwork or witmart to learners, that are relevant to the course content of the MOOC. In this manner, the learners learn and earn money. To investigate the feasibility of this vision, in this paper we explored to what extent (1) online market places contain tasks relevant to a specific MOOC, and (2) learners are able to solve real-world tasks correctly and with sufficient quality. Finally, based on our experimental design, we were also able to investigate the impact of real-world bonus tasks in a MOOC on the general learner population.

Reference

Guanliang Chen, Dan Davis, Markus Krause, Efthimia Aivaloglou, Claudia Hauff, Geert-Jan Houben, “Can Learners be Earners? Investigating a Design to Enable MOOC Learners to Apply their Skills and Earn Money in an Online Market Place”, IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, vol. , no. , pp. 1, 5555, doi:10.1109/TLT.2016.2614302

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Beyond the MOOC platform: gaining insights about learners from the social web

Paper presented at the 8th ACM Conference on Web Science in Hanover, Germany.

Abstract

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have enabled millions of learners across the globe to increase their levels of expertise in a wide variety of subjects. Research efforts surrounding MOOCs are typically focused on improving the learning experience, as the current retention rates (less than 7% of registered learners complete a MOOC) show a large gap between vision and reality in MOOC learning.

Current data-driven approaches to MOOC adaptations rely on data traces learners generate within a MOOC platform such as edX or Coursera. As a MOOC typically lasts between five and eight weeks and with many MOOC learners being rather passive consumers of the learning material, this exclusive use of MOOC platform data traces limits the insights that can be gained from them.

The Social Web potentially offers a rich source of data to supplement the MOOC platform data traces, as many learners are also likely to be active on one or more Social Web platforms. In this work, we present a first exploratory analysis of the Social Web platforms MOOC learners are active on — we consider more than 320,000 learners that registered for 18 MOOCs on the edX platform and explore their user profiles and activities on StackExchange, GitHub, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Reference

Guanliang Chen, Dan Davis, Jun Lin, Claudia Hauff, and Geert-Jan Houben. 2016. Beyond the MOOC platform: gaining insights about learners from the social web. In Proceedings of the 8th ACM Conference on Web Science (WebSci ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 15-24. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2908131.2908145

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EMOOCS2016: Guidelines for Evaluating the Teaching and Learning in MOOCs: a TU Delft approach

Paper presented at the EMOOCS 2016 conference in Graz, Austria.

Abstract

What does it mean to qualify as a ‘successful’ MOOC? This question haunts policy makers and educators alike, and is at the core of the continued development and funding for Massive Open Online Courses. Because MOOCs can serve many purposes, their value lies in more than just their short-term educational role. A ‘successful’ MOOC can do more than just teach; it can provide institutional brand recognition, address global challenges, improve the quality of campus education, and generate data for educational research. In this paper, we examine the
methods and tools TU Delft uses to evaluate the teaching and learning within its own MOOCs in particular. Recommendations are provided for the use of a set of qualitatitve tools in addition to the more common quantitative tools used to evaluate the ‘success’ of a MOOC.

Reference

Marquis, Danika; Kiers, Janine; Meijerink, Leonie (2016). Guidelines for Evaluating the Teaching and  Learning in MOOCs: a TU Delft approach. In Proceedings of the EUROPEAN STAKEHOLDER SUMMIT on experiences and best practices in and around MOOCs (EMOOCS 2016). http://emoocs2016.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/proceedings-emoocs2016.pdf. ISBN 9783739237107 (page 447-459)

Slides

Paper

Paper is part of the conference proceedings (page 447-459)

EMOOCS2016: Carpe Diem: a new day for flexible MOOC design

Paper presented at the EMOOCs 2016 conference in Graz, Austria. The paper was awarded the outstanding paper & video award.

eMOOCs2016 award certificate

Abstract

Is there one approach to course design that can be recommended in engineering education? At Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), we designed and developed 25 MOOCs, and our experience and expertise in course design is advancing.
One of the frequently used approaches for supporting course teams was inspired by the Carpe Diem approach (Salmon 2014). This paper discusses the experience of TU Delft in implementing this methodology in an engineering setting in MOOCs. The reason for choosing the Carpe Diem approach is that it is simple to use, supports constructive alignment and is a team based approach. In the approach a more activity-based design of MOOCs is promoted through developing e-tivities. In this article the experiences of e-learning developers are described in supporting ten course teams (5 online courses and 5 MOOCs) using the Carpe Diem approach. Two main challenges in supporting course teams are highlighted;
I. How to introduce course teams to the value of the methodology and
II. How to ensure that the specific characteristics of a MOOC are embedded in the design.
For both challenges a range of ‘proposed solutions’ is suggested based on the experiences of the e-learning developers. This results in lessons learned that can be applied by anyone who would like to make use of the Carpe Diem approach for flexible MOOC design. This paper argues that the Carpe Diem approach needs to be used in an interactive and flexible way, taking into account the diversity of the course teams and course leaders as well as the special characteristics of a MOOC.

Reference

Meijerink, Leonie; Kiers, Janine; Marquis, Danika (2016). Carpe Diem: a new day for flexible  MOOC design. In Proceedings of the EUROPEAN STAKEHOLDER SUMMIT on experiences and best practices in and around MOOCs (EMOOCS 2016). http://emoocs2016.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/proceedings-emoocs2016.pdf. ISBN 9783739237107 (page 425-438)

Video

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Paper

Paper is part of the conference proceedings (page 425-438)

EDM2015: Modeling Learners’ Social Centrality and Performance through Language and Discourse

This paper is presented at the Educational Data Mining Conference 2015 in Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

There is an emerging trend in higher education for the adoption of massive open online courses (MOOCs). However, despite this interest in learning at scale, there has been limited work investigating the impact MOOCs can play on student learning. In this study, we adopt a novel approach, using language and discourse as a tool to explore its association with two established measures of learning: traditional academic performance and social centrality. We demonstrate how characteristics of language diagnostically reveal the performance and social position of learners as they interact in a MOOC. We use Coh-Metrix, a theoretically grounded, computational linguistic modeling tool, to explore students’ forum postings across five potent discourse dimensions. Using a Social Network Analysis (SNA) methodology, we determine learners’ social centrality. Linear mixed-effect modeling is used for all other analyses to control for individual learner and text characteristics. The results indicate that learners performed significantly better when they engaged in more expository style discourse, with surface and deep level cohesive integration, abstract language, and simple syntactic structures. However, measures of social centrality revealed a different picture. Learners garnered a more significant and central position in their social network when they engaged with more narrative style discourse with less overlap between words and ideas, simpler syntactic structures and abstract words. Implications for further research and practice are discussed regarding the misalignment between these two learning-related outcomes.

Paper

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SEFI2015: Gender and Diversity in Engineering MOOCs, a first Appraisal

This paper was presented at the 43rd Annual SEFI Conference June 29 – July 2, 2015 in Orléans, France

Abstract

This paper addresses the participation and performance of MOOC students in relation to gender and diversity. It is a first appraisal based on the data collected from the five engineering MOOCs executed in 2013-2014 at the Delft University of Technology (TUD) on the edX platform, which is part of the edX consortium (www.edx.org). section 2 gives an overview about previous research outcomes. In section 3 the data collection from TUD is summarized under the special focus on gender and diversity. In section 4 the authors of this paper present the outcomes of the data analysis with a focus on gender and diversity of student population in relation to participation and performance. Section 5 summarizes the outcomes and gives an outlook to further educational and research questions in this field.

Paper

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SEFI2015: The Value of Engineering MOOCs from a Learner’s Perspective

This paper was presented at the 43rd Annual SEFI Conference June 29 – July 2, 2015 in Orléans, France

Abstract

This paper looks at the perceived value students adhere to the DelftX MOOC engineering courses they have taken, in other words what is the course worth in the context of their learning needs? Are you doing the course because you are curious, you want to get more knowledgeable on the topic, you need to know something related to your work, you do it for other professional reasons. This research will not cover all arguments as it is a first endeavor to get to know the learner better from the value perspective.

Paper

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IJCLEE2015: Who is the Learner in the DelftX Engineering MOOCs?

This paper was presented at International Joint Conference on the Learner in Engineering Education (IJCLEE 2015) in San Sebastian.

Abstract

The Delft University of Technology (TUD) deployed her first generation of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in 2013-2014 delivered through the edX platform. These DelftX MOOCs were engineering courses designed at the level equivalent to that of a bachelor-program entry level. Almost 140 thousand students registered, around 3,7% received certificates of completion, and the rest participated to a degree reflective of their needs. To better understand and ultimately enhance the MOOCs, TUD conducted the collection and analysis of data about learners and their contexts. This exploratory paper focuses on the specific analyses pertinent to describing the demographics of an Engineering MOOC participant, as observed in the first generation of TUD MOOCs. The implications of the observed participant demographics are analysed and discussed.

Paper

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