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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.38 - Participant intentions in MOOCs: Defining success for learners in open courses

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In early 2015, a western Canadian university offered its first two open courses through the Canvas open course network: 1) learning technologies and 2) innovation in the circumpolar north. Research on both courses is being conducted to determine participants’ activity levels, both planned (participants’ pre-course estimates) and actual (posts to discussion forums and completion of assignments). At the beginning of the study, the researchers believed that completion rates were a poor method of judging success of open courses since they do not take into account the intentions of the participants. For example, some registrants may simply be looking to learn about one or two aspects of the topic, so may be unlikely to complete the entire course, whereas someone whose intention at the start is to complete the course, may have a higher level of participation (Hill, 2013). For this study, participants were asked at the beginning of the courses to indicate the category that best described their planned level of participation: An observer, a drop-in, a passive participant, an active participant, or unsure. These categories are similar to those used in research conducted on the HarvardX MOOCs (Reich, 2014). These results were then compared to actual participation in the courses. This roundtable will explore the findings of the comparison, as well as provide an opportunity for discussion of how this should inform the design and delivery of future iterations of open courses.

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Bayshore Salon EF

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