Friday, 11 May 2012

Learning analytics as indicators of online course drop-out a paper by the MobiMOOC research team

Under the lead of the wonderfully driven Apostolos Koutropoulos, Sean Abajian and Michael Sean Gallagher, all of us in the MobiMOOC research team (other members are Nilgün Keskin, Rebecca Hogue and Osvaldo Rodriguez and myself) got a chance to collaboratively write a paper on "emotive vocabulary in MOOCs: context and participation retention". This paper came out of MobiMOOC2011 and it takes a deeper look into the emotive language that is used by MOOC participants and whether this language can be analyzed for words that indicate future drop-out/participation.

Here is the abstract:
Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) have been growing in popularity with educational researchers, instructors, and learners in online environments. Online discussions are as important in MOOCs as in other online courses. Online discussions that occur in MOOCs are influenced by additional factors resulting from their volatile and voluntary participation structure. This article aims to examine discussions that took place in MobiMOOC in the spring of 2011, a MOOC structured around mobile learning. This line of inquiry focused on language from the discussions that contained emotive vocabulary in the MobiMOOC discussion forums. Emotive vocabulary is words or phrases that are implicitly emotional (happy, sad, frustrated) or relate to emotional contexts (I wasn’t able to…). This emotive vocabulary, when present, was examined to determine whether it could serve as a mechanism for predicting future and continued participation in the MOOC. In this research, narrative inquiry approach was used in order to shine a light on the possible predictive qualities of emotive text in both participants who withdrew from the course as well as moderately or moderately active participants. The results indicated that emotive vocabulary usage did not significantly predict or impact participation retention in MobiMOOC.

Yes, participating in MOOCs can result in many different outcomes. If you have not signed up for the next MobiMOOC that will run between 8 - 30 September 2012, feel free to register here by becoming a member of the group and you will be kept up to date.