Posts tagged research

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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Research Seminar: Data Science Speeding up the Online learning curve

Open & Online education is a growing force in higher education. Platforms like EdX and Coursera offer a broad spectrum of Massive Open Online Courses. How do we keep learners engaged throughout a course and how do we assess if leaning goals have been achieved? The massive amount of data, produced by learners inside and outside the Massive Open Online Courses and the challenges for online assessment makes Online education a very interesting field for data science research. In this DDS seminar we will explore the research questions around learning analytics, gamification and online assessment.

How can we build comprehensive learner models that provide fine-grained insights into learners’ abilities, motivations, behaviour, knowledge and learning curves? For example a gaze-based indicator of students’ attention in a MOOC video lecture is proposed to define “with-me-ness” at two levels: perceptual, following teacher’s deictic acts; and conceptual, following teacher discourse.

Experiences  of gamification in the classroom give us food for thought for the use of gamification in the online learning environment. How can we use game-based learning to improve the learning outcomes? Assessment in online courses is now often done by multiple choice tests, but many instructors feel a need for automated assessment of “open” answers, designs, programs or other student materials. How can we achieve this? Can natural language processing and machine learning methods enhance online assignments and peer reviews? Will you join us for speeding up the Online learning curve?


Below you will find the overall program of the Research Seminar. For more information about the program and to register, please visit the seminar website.

  • 9.30   Welcome/coffee
  • 10.00  Opening by Claudia Hauff
  • 10.15  Kshitij Sharma – EPFL | École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
    “Looking THROUGH versus looking AT”
  • 10.35  Alexandru Iosup – Delft University of Technology
    “Gamification in the classroom”
  • 10.55 Markus Krause – Leibniz Universität Hannover
    “Learning at Scale: Promises, Reality, and Vision”
  • 11.15  Coffee Break
  • 11.45  Heide Lukosch – Delft University of Technology
    “Game-based learning”
  • 12.05  Eelco Visser – Delft University of Technology
    “Massive Online Assessment – beyond multiple choice”
  • 12.25  Panel discussion followed by closing remarks by Claudia Hauff
  • 13.00  Lunch with posters by companies and researchers
  • 14:00 End of program, start of the Education Seminar

Date: Moday March 9th | Time: 9:30 – 14:00 h | location: Culture Centre

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