Study of MOOCs Suggests Dropping the Label ‘Dropout’

Avi Wolfman-Arent, Observatoire de Paris, Jun 23, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'm not a fan of research papers that produce taxonomies, but if you do produce a taxonomy, it should reflect causes, practices, or some such thing. If I were to categorize MOOC users, therefore, I'd characterize them by the impact they have on the system: uploaders, commenters, subscribers, viewers, and lurkers. Each of these can be quantified by site statistics. Meanhile, the best response to this research report is the first comment in the Chronicle: "The fact that anyone ever considered a person who clicked on a link on the internet but failed to devote several weeks of their time to the "product" to be a "dropout" should be the news."

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