Posts tagged moocs

Exploring communities of inquiry in MOOCs

Article published in journal Computers & Education Volume 119, April 2018, Pages 44–58.


This study presents an evaluation of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) survey instrument developed by Arbaugh et al. (2008) within the context of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The study reports the results of a reliability analysis and exploratory factor analysis of the CoI survey instrument using the data of 1487 students from five MOOC courses. The findings confirmed the reliability and validity of the CoI survey instrument for the assessment of the key dimensions of the CoI model: teaching presence, social presence, and cognitive presence. Although the CoI survey instrument captured the same latent constructs within the MOOC context as in the Garrison’s three-factor model (Garrison et al., 1999), analyses suggested a six-factor model with additional three factors as a better fit to the data. These additional factors were 1) course organization and design (a sub-component of teaching presence), 2) group affectivity (a sub-component of social presence), and 3) resolution phase of inquiry learning (a sub-component of cognitive presence). The emergence of these additional factors revealed that the discrepancies between the dynamics of the traditional online courses and MOOCs affect the student perceptions of the three CoI presences. Based on the results of our analysis, we provide an update to the famous CoI model which captures the distinctive characteristics of the CoI model within the MOOC setting. The results of the study and their implications are further discussed.


Community of inquiry model, Massive open online courses, Online learning, Exploratory factor analysis


Vitomir Kovanović, Srećko Joksimović, Oleksandra Poquet, Thieme Hennis, Iva Čukić, Pieter de Vries, Marek Hatala, Shane Dawson, George Siemens, Dragan Gašević (2018) Exploring communities of inquiry in Massive Open Online Courses, Computers & Education, Volume 119, April 2018, Pages 44-58, ISSN 0360-1315,


Opening University Education to the World and Improve Education

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


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.


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





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.

What have they done with the MOOCs?! The impact of MOOCs on Campus Education

Article published in the Conference Proceedings of The EADTU Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference 19-21 October 2016 in Rome.


In 2013 Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) started to offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) onthe EdX platform. One of the main principles in the MOOC development process was to publish alleducational resources under an open license (Creative Commons License) (Ouwehand, 2015). This alignedwith TU Delft’s Open Access Policy. Another important starting point in the MOOC development process was the aim to improve campus education by integrating MOOC content in those courses.
The impact of MOOCs concerns not only the world outside the university, but more importantly also withinthe university. Especially for a traditional brick-and-mortar research-based university, like TU Delft, this is abig gain: education has become more important. In the past three years it has become clear that developing a MOOC has led lecturers to re-think their approach towards teaching and to integrate MOOC materials in campus education, which has impact on the way they teach on campus.
MOOCs are used on campus in different ways, from a small addition to an existing course to a full integration into a completely redesigned campus course. Moreover, some teachers became conscious of the importance of educational resources under CC License and started to use material from other universities. One of the faculties created a course which uses MOOC materials to help the students to prepare for a master program.
This paper describes the way in which MOOCs have been used in campus education and the impact this has had on teaching and learning.
Keywords: Open Educational Resources, Improving, Campus Courses, MOOC, blended learning


Cabral, Pedro; Van Valkenburg, Willem; Dopper, Sofia (2016). What have they done with the MOOCs?! The impact of MOOCs on Campus  Education in Ubach, George & Konings, Lizzie (2016). Conference Proceedings The Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference 2016. Published by EADTU. ISBN:978-90-79730-25-4 [Page 652-660]



MOOCs and their Effect on the Institution

Paper was published in journal Foro de Educación.


Four years after the introduction of MOOCs – which were proclaimed to be «the end of education as we know it» in 2012 – the role and effect of these free, online courses is becoming clearer. The online means of delivery to the heterogeneous audiences of MOOCs have enabled and compelled instructors and course teams to develop innovative and flexible learning materials. We can analyse the data on the study behaviour of learners to identify which course elements are effective. In addition, the integration of elements of MOOCs in campus education has resulted in promising outcomes and positive reactions from both students and teachers. On the level of the institution, we also see the effect of MOOCs: ranging from new possibilities in communication and branding, to new needs for faculty development and the support organisation. Furthermore, MOOCs play a role in the unbundling of education, e.g. the learning experience and the assessment tasks now can be uncoupled and may be delivered by different institutions and by different means: the learning experience may be in the form of a MOOC and the assessment may be a written exam at an institution.


Kiers, J. (2016). MOOCs and their Effect on the Institution: Experiences in Course Design, Delivery and Evaluation; Research; Faculty Development; Unbundling and Credits for MOOCs. Foro de Educación, 14(21), 133-149. doi:

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Learning Transfer: Does It Take Place in MOOCs? An Investigation into the Uptake of Functional Programming in Practice

Paper presented at the Learning @ Scale 2016 conference in Edinburgh.


The rising number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) enable people to advance their knowledge and competencies in a wide range of fields. Learning though is only the first step, the transfer of the taught concepts into practice is equally important and often neglected in the investigation of MOOCs. In this paper, we consider the specific case of FP101x (a functional programming MOOC on edX) and the extent to which learners alter their programming behaviour after having taken the course. We are able to link about one third of all FP101x learners to GitHub, the most popular social coding platform to date and contribute a first exploratory analysis of learner behaviour beyond the MOOC platform. A detailed longitudinal analysis of GitHub log traces reveals that (i) more than 8% of engaged learners transfer, and that (ii) most existing transfer learning findings from the classroom setting are indeed applicable in the MOOC setting as well.


Guanliang Chen, Dan Davis, Claudia Hauff, and Geert-Jan Houben. 2016. Learning Transfer: Does It Take Place in MOOCs? An Investigation into the Uptake of Functional Programming in Practice. In Proceedings of the Third (2016) ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale (L@S ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 409-418. DOI=


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