#ocTEL Week 4 Only One Thing

June 8, 2014 in Blog post, Reader

Ok, I’m not sure this is 100% on target for this week’s “if you only do one thing” but I’m sure there are people on the MOOC who might have some useful suggestions or insights for me. This year one of my short lecture classes was transformed into an “interactive online session”. We worked hard at this and scenarized the course, divided it into what we thought were varied, bite-sized pieces with some videos (shot with me in the studio or outside or using videos from YouTube…), some audio material etc.

To make it interactive, students were invited at regular intervals to respond to questions in different forms (open-ended answers, MCQ, true-false) based on different material. We decided for the MCQ-type questions that students who did not get the correct answer would be given a second chance to answer. If they still did not have the correct answer they were able to continue and see the answer (answers were also given in different forms to try and provide some variety – audio, written or video).

For different reasons, we decided not to give the students grades for the online questions. The online, interactive sessions were part of a blended learning course that involved 6 online, e-learning modules from a platform called CrossKnowledge, 6 face-to-face tutorials and the 3 interactive, online sessions that replaced my lectures. The idea of these 3 sessions was to provide an overall frame for the course with an introduction and conclusion and a mid-way session that provided some input that was not covered in the CK modules and which the teachers did not have time to cover in the face-to-face sessions.
The online sessions were housed on a Moodle and we were able to see who had done which of the different activities. I have just had the results and, although I was clear from the outset that this kind of course would not appeal to everyone, the statistics make grim reading. Only 8% of the students (about 500 in total) did all of the online sessions (the 3 sessions are subdivided into 14 sections), 25% of them did between 1 and 13 of the sections and 67% did not do any of them!

We have also done an end of term questionnaire to get feedback from the students about the course and from the outset we decided to do 2 different questionnaires, one for the students who had done all or part of the online sessions and another one for those who hadn’t done them. However, we never expected this to be the large majority of students. At the moment, I don’t have the analysis of these questionnaires. Does anyone have any thoughts about where we may have gone wrong?

There are many things that we didn’t incorporate into the online sessions that this MOOC has highlighted and which I will certainly try and incorporate for next year. My question here is really just about getting the students to the online material in the first place. Apart from getting out the big stick and linking a (significant) % of the course grade to this part of the course, is there anything else that could or should be done?

1 response to The open course you cannot fail…

  1. Dear Maren

    “Lurkers” vs “Silent participants”?

    Here are a few other terms that could be used:

    vicarious learners?
    silent participants?
    Non-public user?
    legitimate peripheral participator?
    virtual participant?
    marginal participant?
    passive observer?
    cognitive apprentices?
    potential member?
    proximate member?
    tacit member?

    See Let’s get more positive about the term ‘lurker’

    Which term best reflects the degree/ style/ of learning? If you read a book, but never talk about it, have you learned any less?

    Best wishes


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