Drumbeat
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Drumbeat

(http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2011/170/b/8/animal_drum_kit_by_metalheadache-d3i6o5l.png)

Problem

MOOCs are massive and so participants may not feel apart of a community. Often they feel their voice is not heard, and so they can feel disenfranchised and dissatisfied with the educational experience, which may impact on their learning.


In other educational contexts learners can have more regular and focussed contact with tutors that can help to overcome this problem. The nature of massive and open means that to provide this type of contact would become very resource intensive and unrealistic in most scenarios.


Can we create the sense of faculty presence (or the illusion of presence) in the course, without fragmenting the cohort?


Can we encourage engagement and increase retention by establishing this kind of relationship between students and faculty?


Context

This is in the context of  massive cohorts (thousands plus)


Our examples are based in an externally developed online learning environment with pre-established functionality.


We have all the usual problems of online courses: time zones, connectivity, cultural differences ....



Solutions


Solution A

Creation of a step at the end of each Week that asks


"How's it going so far? 


This activity is entirely optional, but we’re really interested to know how you’re finding the course in Week x. We’d be really grateful if you could leave a comment or share some part of your experience so far in the discussion board."


The educators and other members of the course team post responses, and "like" participant's posts.


Solution B

Regular summary posts (emails, announcements, videos) from the educators that cluster and address commonly occurring themes, from across learner posts.



Examples

Example A

Birmingham's "Good brain bad brain" - weekly forums asking "how it is going"

Examples B

Reading's "Begin programming:..." had regular mid-week summaries written by different educators summarising what is happeing in the course (with some quotes) and what actions are taken


Reading's "Mangaing people" - one of the course team produces weekly videos summarising and responding to what is happening in the course, supplementing an email (as above)

Example C

All FutureLearn courses have a Welcome to the Week email and these frequently contain reference to participant comments.

Example D

Survey from Yishay's workshop??


Overlaps

Crowd bonding

Chatflow 1 (&2?)


Data and References

 

Author(s): Andy Wright
Published at: 09 Jul 2014 13:49 GMT
Original link (login required): https://ilde.upf.edu/moocs/pg/lds/view/1349/