Unpacking the relationship between discussion forum participation and learning in MOOCs: Content is key

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between discussion forum contributions and course assessment results in a statistics MOOC. An important feature of the study is that it distinguished between discussions that were related to the learning of course material (“content-related”) and those which were not (“non-content”). Another contribution is that the study evaluated the additional usefulness of social centrality measures in predicting course grade after the quantity of forum contributions has been accounted for. Results showed that, overall, 15% of course learners contributed to the forums and these learners had a significantly higher rate of successfully passing the course than non-contributors (64% vs 32% passing). Learners who made posts to both content-related and non-content threads had a higher passing rate than those who only contributed to one type or the other. Among learners who successfully passed the course, there were no differences in course grade when comparing discussion contributors and non-contributors overall; however those who contributed to content-related threads performed slightly better than those who did not (course grade of 87% vs 85%). A predictive model based on the number of posts made to content-related threads explained a small proportion of variance in course grades; addition of social centrality measures did not significantly improve the variance explained by the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge
Subtitle of host publicationTowards User-Centred Learning Analytics, LAK 2018
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages330-339
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450364003
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 7 2018
Event8th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, LAK 2018 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: Mar 5 2018Mar 9 2018

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Other

Other8th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, LAK 2018
CountryAustralia
CitySydney
Period3/5/183/9/18

Keywords

  • Discussion forum
  • Learning outcomes
  • Massive open online courses
  • Social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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  • Cite this

    Wise, A. F., & Cui, Y. (2018). Unpacking the relationship between discussion forum participation and learning in MOOCs: Content is key. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge: Towards User-Centred Learning Analytics, LAK 2018 (pp. 330-339). (ACM International Conference Proceeding Series). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3170358.3170403