Learner analytics as a tool for guiding instruction: Identifying High Interest Discussion Topics in a MOOC.
Nathaniel Ostashewski, Dan Wilton, Martha Cleveland-Innes, Athabasca University, Canada ; Sanjaya Mishra, Commonwealth of Learning, Canada
E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Las Vegas, NV, United States ISBN 978-1-939797-35-3 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), San Diego, CA
A real-time network analysis tool was used to identify learners whose general forum discussions generated significant interest with other learners. Once identified, these “high interest” forums were promoted to other learners via mass instructor emails to prompt further reading and discussion. One of the goals of the instruction team was to identify ways in which to keep large numbers of forums and discussions in the MOOC relevant to the weekly content being studied. The real-time network analysis tool provided a way to identify “high interest” posts and achieve this goal. The instructional team was able to identify high interest discussions and promoted them in the weekly summary announcement with a direct link. Additional posts were noticed but it is unclear how many were a result of the promotion. In theory, the promotion of forums by the instructional team should result in more reading or posting activity in specified forums. This could provide a teaching technique that allows MOOC instructors with a way to focus learner attention. In practice, the process of promoting relevant forums and discussions is not clearly understood. Specific data collection on promoted forums such as: page visits after promotion, percentage of posts to the forum after promotion, and comparing methods of promotion will better inform the teaching practices using this high interest forum approach.
Ostashewski, N., Wilton, D., Cleveland-Innes, M. & Mishra, S. (2018). Learner analytics as a tool for guiding instruction: Identifying High Interest Discussion Topics in a MOOC. In Proceedings of E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 526-529). Las Vegas, NV, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
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