Deconstructing Disengagement

This study takes place in the context of a series of Stanford xMOOCs. It;s important to note here that the xMOOC model does not rely on the use of Social Media, and, as such, may have limited application to my Research project.

Stanford xMOOCs typically take a standard approach. Students engage with video lectures, and then engage with MCQ’s, problem sets, further reading etc. It is entirely possible to complete the courses with no peer interaction, and materials are housed on lms platforms, or closed platforms.

Where my proposal focuses on the use of social media, in cMOOC contexts, where social media are the essential element for peer interaction, and the platform comprising the bulk of MOOC instruction.

This in no way undermines the paper, it’s merely a caveat in terms of applying it;s findings to a radically different type of MOOC.

“.These MOOC sare structured learning environments that emphasize instructional videos and regular assessments, centralizing activities  on a single platform.” Here a comparison with, and distinction from cMOOCs is apt. cMOOCs do not take place on one platofrm, are not centralised, or assessed regularly, if at all.

What is shared is the focus on the relatively low engagement rates in MOOCs generally. In this study the focus is on completion rates, but the participation rates for both, as a percentage of those who sign up, are similar.

The paper makes the point that “given the heterogeneity of the population” – of participants, “we would be remiss to make a priori assumptions about the approriate characteristics or behaviors around which to categorise learners” Ty]he same poiint is made about assumptions with regard to what participants might valkue in terms of outcomes, or how they make their way through the course, This would seem to hold true for cMOOCs too. The large numbers, and open aspects tend to mean that there are few, if any, uniftying variables, and participants may engage in multiple meaningful ways that bear little relation to each other.

This is a paper to return to prepare for the subgroup profiling stage. At present, it’s focus on xMOOCs makes it less useful for my current work.

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