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.
The first iteration of the Learning Tracker was tested on WaterX during January-March 2016, while the second iteration was deployed on SewageX and InnovationX. All three MOOCs were reruns:
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.
Cost: The adoption of Open Educational Resources can impact a range of financial and cost metrics for students and institutions.
Outcomes: Given the folk wisdom that “you get what you pay for,” some individuals and organizations worry that student learning will necessarily suffer when students use freely available, openly licensed resources instead of $200 textbooks.
Usage: The permissions provided by open licenses allow students to use OER in a range of novel ways – for example, updating a history textbook based on recent events. Likewise, the permissions provided by open licenses allow teachers to engage in new pedagogical practices.
Perceptions: What do faculty and students think about, and feel toward, Open Educational Resources?
More and more research is showing the positive effects that Open Text Books has. We are starting to reach the point that an instructor has to explain why he is using a commercial textbook.
This report is final outcomes and describes the framework they developed:
This Framework identifies 10 dimensions of open education, giving a rationale and descriptors for each. The goal is to promote transparency for collaboration and exchange of practices among higher education institutions. Without a framework, stakeholders could overlook important questions and could put effort into matters that need little further investment. It is a tool to be used mainly by higher education institutions, but it is also very relevant for EU policy makers and other types of educational institutions.
Opening up education is an item on the European agenda because of three reasons:
it can help to reduce or remove barriers to education (e.g. cost, geography, time, entry requirements).
it supports the modernisation of higher education in Europe, since contemporary open education is largely carried out via digital technologies.
it opens up the possibility of bridging non-formal and formal education.
The framework can be used on different levels:
at university management and decision makers for defining the overall strategy.
at those staff members of HE institutions who actually design educational strategy. It offers a framework which can help them think through critical questions, such as: why is open education important and what is it exactly? What benefits can an open education strategy bring to an institution, to students (and to others out there), to a region, country or to Europe as a whole?
at European level for relevant for policy makers since it can help them formulate policies to encourage institutions to open up education.
The OpenEdu framework consists of 10 dimensions for opening up education. It is a holistic view of open education which includes different areas where universities can be more open. Many experts (including me) were involved in the development and evaluation of the framework.
The 10 dimensions of the framework are divided into two categories: core dimensions and transversal dimensions. There are 6 core dimensions (access, content, pedagogy, recognition, collaboration and research) and 4 transversal dimensions (strategy, technology, quality and leadership). All dimensions are interrelated; the core dimensions are not more important than the transversal ones. Core dimensions represent the 'what' of open education and transversal dimensions indicate `how’ to achieve it.
Access in open education is the removal or lowering of economic, technological, geographical and institutional barriers which obstruct the doorway to knowledge. It grants permission to learners to engage with educational content, courses, programmes, communities of practice, networks and other types of knowledge sharing environments, media and activities in formal and non-formal education. It is also about enabling informal and independent learners to seek and get recognition of their learning.
Content in open education refers to materials for teaching and learning, and research outputs, which are free of charge and available to all.
Openness in pedagogy refers to the use of technologies to broaden pedagogical approaches and make the range of teaching and learning practices more transparent, sharable and visible.
Recognition in open education has two meanings: a) it is the process, usually carried out by an accredited institution, of issuing a certificate, diploma or title which has formal value; b) it is also the process of formally acknowledging and accepting credentials, such as a badge, a certificate, a diploma or title issued by a third-party institution. These credentials should attest that a set of learning outcomes (e.g. knowledge, know-how, skills and/or competences) achieved by an individual has been assessed by a competent body against a predefined standard.
Collaboration in open education is about connecting individuals and institutions by facilitating the exchange of practices and resources with a view to improving education. By collaborating around and through open educational practices, universities can move beyond the typical institutional collaboration patterns and engage individuals and communities to build a bridge between informal, non-formal and formal learning. It is a live and evolving practice which is shaped by individuals according to context, goals, resources and possibilities, contributing to the lowering of barriers to education. It is therefore a concept that must be as dynamic as its practice.
Openness in research is about removing barriers to access to data and research outputs, and also about broadening participation in research.
Strategy in open education is the creation of a unique and valuable position on openness, involving different sets of activities.
Technology in open education refers to technological infrastructures and software which facilitate opening up education in its different dimensions.
Quality in open education refers to the convergence of the 5 concepts of quality22 (efficacy, impact, availability, accuracy and excellence) with an institution's open education offer and opportunities.
Leadership in open education is the promotion of sustainable open education activities and initiatives via a transparent approach from both the top-down and the bottom-up. It paves the way to creating more openness by inspiring and empowering people.
The Open University (UK) has published an interesting report on MOOC research that was done at the OU from the start of the MOOCs in 2008 up until February of this year. The authors, Rebecca Fergason, Tim Coughlan, Christothea Herodotou, have searched the university’s Open Research Online (ORO) repository that use the word ‘MOOC’ in their title or abstract. Studies are divided thematically, and the report contains sections on the pedagogy of MOOCs, MOOCs and open education, MOOC retention and motivation, working together in MOOCs, MOOC assessment, accessibility, privacy and ethics, quality and other areas of MOOC research.
The report discusses 58 recommendations that have emerged from the research – each of which is linked to the research study that generated it. Some of these recommendations extend or reinforce what the University is already doing, some are very specific, and some are small scale. Overall, the research highlights ten priority areas for University activity.
MOOC priority areas
Influence the direction of open education globally
Develop and accredit learning journeys
Extend the relationship between learners and the OU
Make effective use of learning design
Make use of effective distance learning pedagogies
Reference Ferguson, Rebecca; Coughlan, Tim and Herodotou, Christothea (2016). MOOCS: What The Open University research tells us. Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes.
The annual conference of the Open Education Consortium (OEC) is next year in Cape Town 8 - 10 March.There is a special reason to have Cape Town as the venue in 2017 conference, since it marks the 10 year anniversary of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration. That is not the only milestone we will celebrate in 2017: 15 year anniversary of the term “Open Educational Resources” and the 5 year anniversary of the Paris OER Declaration. The conference is organised jointly with the University of Cape Town.
Call for papers
The call for papers is online and you can submit proposal until 17th of October 2016:
The theme of the Open Education Global 2017 Conference is Open for Participation. In keeping with this theme, we will not have formal conference tracks, rather, we welcome all proposals concerning taking an open approach in education. This includes formal and non-formal education; primary, secondary and higher education; open educational practices, projects, policies, research, collaborations and impact; open data, open access, open science, open organizations, open source software, etc. We are open to your ideas!
Again this year we are collaborating with Open Praxis. They will publish a selection of papers from the Open Education Global 2017 conference. Open Praxis is a peer-reviewed open access scholarly journal focusing on research and innovation in open, distance and flexible education, published by the International Council for Open and Distance Education – ICDE.
Open Education Awards
The Open Education Awards for Excellence will be presented during the conference. These awards recognize distinctive open education projects, technological innovations, notable open courses, and exemplary leaders in Open Education worldwide. We encourage you to participate in the awards process by nominating your favorite people, projects and ideas. Call for nominations will open on September 05, 2016. Learn more about the awards and make your nominations here.
As board member of the OEC I will certainly attend the conference and I hope to see many open education friends. Come join us in Cape Town International Convention Centre!
Today we reached a big milestone in our MOOC activities: one million enrollments! Just before Christmas of 2012 I was asked to start a small project to develop 4 MOOCs. On September 15th 2013 the first two DelftX MOOCs started on the edX platform. Now 3 years later we have developed 36 MOOCs (and more in the pipeline). I'm proud of the result and the impact this project has had.
With the development of the first courses we were figuring out the process on-the-go. This was trully an adventure, nowadays it is a fully organised and supported process. For most course teams it is a first time experience and if they listen to our advice and tips it will be a easy but still an intensive process. Off course not all course teams listen (they're academics) and that keeps us busy ;-). More than 80 lecturers have been involved in one or more MOOCs. And don't forget all those students that assisted the lecturers in developing the courses.
In these three years were we started with a small support team of 4 (Janine, Mark, Gijs and me) and have grown to the Extension School support team of more than 20 people. That group is not just supporting MOOCs but also OpenCourseWare, Professional Education, Online and blended education.
To celebrate this milestone we have created a infographics. You can download it from our website. The data of three years of MOOCs is impressive:
1M course enrollments by 699.014 learners from 229 countries aging between 8 and 94 (average age is 29). These learners have watched 13.824.919 minutes of video (26 year and 104 days). We have issued 28.739 certificates. Average pass rate for the verified certificates is 69% (highest 81,5%). More than 100k surveys were submitted. Our learners appreciate our MOOCs with a 8 (out of 10). Some courses even score above 9.
When you start an initiative it is always great to receive external recognising for your course. And we did:
The small MOOC project has been a tremendous success for TU Delft. The impact is much bigger than anticipated at the start. And we will continue to develop our MOOCs in quantity and quality. Below is an graphical view of the enrollments per course.
An interesting paper of George Veletsianos (Royal Roads University), Justin Reich (MIT), and Laura Pasquini (University of North Texas and Royal Roads University) was just published in the journal AERA Open (American Educational Research Association). The paper focuses on the activities of the learners in MOOC that can't be tracked in the tracking logs.
The authors interviewed 92 learners from around the world in different ages and gender. The learners participated in 4 MOOCs of HarvardX (they are aware that these learner might not be very representative). Their research findings reveiled three domains of the experience of the MOOC learners that you can't see in the tracking logs.
Some of the findings:
learners work at workstations that include not only computers but also notebooks, paper printouts, reference books, additional devices, and other people.
students’ online activities extend beyond the MOOC platform, to a variety of reference resources and online social networks that support student learning. Whereas many MOOCs are designed as a comprehensive learning experience, tudents appear to treat them as a single node in a broader network of learning opportunities.
MOOC learning takes place in a broader learner world. This world goes beyond workstations, MOOC platforms, and online spaces, and it is a world in which students negotiate for time across multiple competing commitments.
I agree with the authors we should be more aware of what the learners are doing outside the platform. I do question if the HarvardX MOOCs are a good representation of current MOOC course designs. I personnally have the feeling they are still content centered and not focus on the learning experience.
The Life Between Big Data Log Events. Learners’ Strategies to Overcome Challenges in MOOCs. George Veletsianos, Justin Reich, Laura A. Pasquini. AERA Open Jun 2016, 2 (3) 2332858416657002; DOI: 10.1177/2332858416657002
Yesterday I attend the policy forum on European MOOCs organised by the HOME project. This was the third event of the HOME project I attended after Porto and Rome. In 22 presentation we got a good overview of policy for MOOCs on European, governmental and institutional level. The presentators submitted 19 papers.
Last week EADTU published the report MOOCs in Europe. This report is an overview of papers representing a collective European response on MOOCs as presented during the HOME conference in Rome November 2015. This report is published as part of the project HOME - Higher education Online: MOOCs the European way. The project is ending this month with a policy meeting on the 28th of June in Brussels.
The report includes 31 papers in 6 categories:
Part 1: Regional MOOC initiatives (3 papers)
Part 2: Role media exposure on MOOC development (2)
Part 3: Supporting the selection of MOOC platforms (8)
Part 4: Business models European MOOCs (5)
Part 5: Pedagogical approaches in European MOOCs (8)
Part 6: Shared services in European MOOC context (5)
Interesting to see is the diversity of authors that have written the reports. They representing institutes in 18 countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey and UK). Although some large European countries (France and Germany) are not included.
Jansen, Darco; Konings, Lizzie (2016). MOOCs in Europe. ISBN 978-90-79730-19-3