Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This paper is really smart on a number of levels. It endorses a "students as co-creators" approach to course design, making their responses part of the design process. It uses a third-party site to collect reviews because several MOOC platforms don't support student feedback. It uses Leximancer, "a data-mining tool which extracts key concepts from collections of textual documents." It surveys a large number of varied responses - 8475 ratings and reviews submitted for 1794 MOOCs. It recognizes "there are underlying differences between MOOCs and credit-bearing university courses, and learning outcomes valued in traditional HEIs (e.g. achievement, persistence) may not be the best indicators to represent MOOC learning outcomes." And it produces a useful list of six propositions for promoting the learning experience in MOOCs, which I would summarize as follows::

  • provide realistic learning contexts and instructional conditions
  • design for mental challenge and stimulation
  • design the course content, materials, and communications to generate interest
  • create high-quality video lectures
  • employ video lectures to simplify complex, difficult concepts
  • address learners’ queries.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 31, 2021 01:57 a.m.