I’ve recently concluded two years as a research fellow at HarvardX. To bring things to a close, last week I held a workshop with course developers looking at the question: What have we learned from the last two years of MOOC research that could help improve the design of courses? Over the next few days, I’ll release a series of short post on seven general themes from MOOC research that could inform the design of large-scale learning environments in the years ahead.
- MOOC students are diverse, but trend towards auto-didacts
- MOOC students value flexibility, but benefit when they engage frequently
- The best predictor of persistence and completion is intention, though every activity predicts every other activity
- MOOC students (tell us they) leave because they get busy with other things, but we may be able to help them stay on track
- Students learn more from doing than watching
- Lots of student learning activities are happening beyond our observation: including note-taking, socializing, and using other references
- Improving student learning outcomes will require measuring learning, experimenting with different approaches, and baking research into courses from the beginning