Today Ioana Jivet succesfully defended her master thesis "The Learner Tracker: A Learner Dashboard that Encourages Self-regulation in MOOC Learners":
The purpose of this work is to investigate how self-regulating skills can be enhanced by encouraging metacognition and reflection in MOOC learners by means of social comparison. To this end, we developed the Learning Tracker, an interactive widget that could be integrated in a learner dash- board aimed at learners. The Learning Tracker allows MOOC learners to compare their learning behaviour to that of previous graduates of the same MOOC, which we named successful learners.
In her research she has shown that feedback on learner behaviour, such as the learner tracker, might lead to changes in a learner’s overall behaviour and not only in the areas they received feedback on.
During her period at our research group she has made three important contributions:
- an interactive widget that visualises learners’ behaviour with the purpose of developing learners’ self-regulated learning skills by means of reflection.
- deployed and evaluated the widget in several real-world MOOCs across the whole duration of the MOOCs reaching more than 20.000 learners.
- the results showed the effectiveness of our design across all evaluated MOOCs, as learners that are exposed to the Learning Tracker are more likely to complete the course due to changes in their behaviour.
It is important to mention that the course teams make changes in every run, especially in the InnovationX mooc they made significant changes (see page 36). Ioana made adjustment to correct this.
In the research learners were randomly divided in a Test and a Control group. In all three MOOCs the test group showed a better result than the control group:
The main results reveal that when exposed to the Learning Tracker learners are more likely to complete the course with a graduation mark because (i) learners attempt more quiz questions and (ii) they submit their work earlier. Although our results indicate that the Learning Tracker impact learners’ engagement and reduces procrastination, there is little evidence that other aspects of learners’ self-regulation were influenced.
In this research project Ioana has shown that a giving learner feedback on their progress might influence their behaviour. We are definitely continuing the work. Ioana is starting a PhD at the Open Universiteit in Heerlen and we hope to continue to work together.
You can download her full report from our repository.