RIDE2013 presentation: How people learn in Massive Online Open Courses


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Presentation from 'Enhancing the Student Experience' strand at the CDE’s Research and Innovation in Distance Education and eLearning conference, held at Senate House London on 1 November 2013. Conducted by Professor Allison Littlejohn (Director, Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University)

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  • The instrument is divided in three main sections: 1 a scale to measure learning opportunities provided by the workplace/role (Schalk & van Woerkom, 2009). Some roles afford more opportunities to learn than others, and therefore by including a measure of the opportunities for learning afforded by the workplace/role, we can normalise for this factor.2 a scale to measure learning activities undertaken (adapted from Raemdonck, Gijbels et al, 2012). Raemdonck and Gijbels argue that the learning activities undertaken (using definition not restricted to formal learning opportunities) by an individual provides a measure of the extent to which an employee has taken advantage of the learning opportunities available to them that is dependent on their self-directedness. We have used the same scale and hypothesis that this will be dependent on their SRL score for the workplace context (or 3 a scale to measure an SRL score for the current context; Using Zimmerman’s (2005) Social cognitive theory of SRL (with its three phases of forethought, performance and self-reflection) as a starting point, we have adapted several related SRL instruments to the workplace context.
  • People with a high SRL scores can better exploit learning opportunities Specific sub-components of self-regulation (for example a workers ability to rationalise what they need to learn, or have learned learning into the broader context of their role) seem to be key indicators of workers who seem to learn more effectively.
  • Multiple linear regression analysis was used to assess the ability of SRL components to predict the extent of learning activities actually undertaken by participants and to test the mediating role of SRL (and its sub-components) between the learning opportunities afforded by an individual’s role and the learning activities they undertake. As expected, the factor ‘learning opportunities at work’ is a predictor of learning activities explaining 24% of the variance of learning activities. SRL score and its individual components were tested in order to identify which components explain the major percentage of variance. For the mediation hypothesis proposed in this research, only three factors appear to mediate between learning opportunities at work and learning activities undertaken: factor F4: task interest, value, factor P1: elaboration, and Factor S2: self-evaluation.
  • ... self-evaluation becomes the argument for learning/networking across organisations ... this is exactly where cisi can be useful.
  • Many goals set were vague, either because they related to low level participation, or were abstract  (take ideas and apply them in my own work). Performance goals were by their nature more specific and measurable, largely focused on weekly events. The scope of goals varied – some were set at the sub-course level (largely performance goals), while participation goals were set at the course level, and most (though not all) learning goals were set at the beyond-course level (apply knowledge in own practice). Goals which were participation-focused were by their nature easy to achieve (interviewees just had to open the course email to ‘experience the course’. Learning and networking goals were more challenging, as were most participation goals.  
  • 24 were asked about the evolution of their goals. Of these, 15 said their goals had changed, and 9 not. Within these groups were some interesting observations: Of the nine whose goals had not changed, 8 had studied on cMOOCs before . Some of those whose goals hadn’t changed indicated that they had at least monitored their goals and decided that they were content that their original goals had been appropriate.Of the 9 participants who were new to MOOCs, 7 set goals, and 6 were asked whether their goals had changed. Of these 6, 5 indicated that they had changed – often to adjust to the specific behaviours demanded by MOOCS (for instance ‘ I had intended to read every post’ was clearly an impractical goal). As people understood the format of the course they focused their efforts onto the topics that interested them, or dropped performance goals in favour of more directed goals (Its ok not to contribute every week).
  • RIDE2013 presentation: How people learn in Massive Online Open Courses

    1. 1. How people learn in Massive Open Online Courses University of London, November 2013 Allison Littlejohn Director, Caledonian Academy Chair of Learning Technology www.gcu.ac.uk/academy Collaborators: Dr Colin Milligan, Dr Anoush Margaryan, Dr Pia Fontana, Lou McGill Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
    2. 2. Conceptualisation
    3. 3. Questions 1 How do people learn in a cMOOC? 2 How do they self-regulate their learning? 3 How might MOOC tools and environments support self regulation?
    4. 4. Scenario defined Learning 4 Self-regulated Learning Self-generated thoughts, feelings and actions that are planned and cyclically adapted to the attainment of personal learning goals. Zimmermann
    5. 5. Scenario 4 Hypothesis People who exhibit a high degree of Self-Regulation will use different strategies to plan, monitor and reflect on their learning than individuals who exhibit low SRL
    6. 6. Scenario 4 SRL: Method Context: Change11 MOOC Period: Jan 12-Apr 12 Method/instruments: SRL Questionnaire & semi structured interviews Sample: survey: n=29 interviews: n=29 www.gcu.ac.uk/academy/srl-mooc/
    7. 7. SRL: questionnaire
    8. 8. SRL: questionnaire Principal component exploratory factor analysis highlighted 8 significant factors for SRL: F1 occupational self-efficacy – belief in one’s ability/capacity to have some control over/cope in their role. F2 strategic planning - purposive personal processes and actions directed at acquiring or displaying skill. F3 goal-setting – use of goals a mechanism for planning and achieving F4 task interest/value – disposition to focus on the task and its wider value rather than merely the outcome (intrinsic motivation), P1 elaboration – ability to relate task to wider practice. P2 help-seeking –seeking help from others or info sources. S1 self-satisfaction - motivation does not stem from goals, but on whether individuals feel they are achieving them. S2 self-evaluation- comparing performance against an external goal
    9. 9. SRL: questionnaire Multiple linear regression analysis highlighted 3 main factors influencing SRL: • F4 task interest/value – ability to focus on the task and its wider value rather than merely the outcome (intrinsic motivation), • P1 elaboration – ability to relate task to wider practice. • S2 self-evaluation- comparing performance against an external goal
    10. 10. Q How can universities encourage SRL? • F Task value - ability to recognise the wider value of a task rather than merely the outcome; • P Task elaboration - ability to relate task to wider practice; • S Self-evaluation - ability to compare performance against against external benchmarks
    11. 11. Sensemaking COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE
    12. 12. Sensemaking Connect COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE
    13. 13. Sensemaking Connect COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE Consume
    14. 14. Sensemaking Connect COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE Create Consume
    15. 15. Sensemaking Contribute Connect COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE Create Consume
    16. 16. Sensemaking Contribute Connect COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE Create Consume
    17. 17. Sensemaking Charting occurs when each learner maps his/ her learning Pathway Contribute Connect CHARTING Create Consume
    18. 18. Scenario 4 Sensemaking & self-regulating •task analysis • goal setting • self-instruction • help-seeking • self-monitoring •self-judgement •self-evaluation Zimmerman, B. J. (2005). Attaining self-regulation: a social cognitive perspective. In Boekaerts, M., Zeidner, M., and Pintrich, P.R (eds) Handbook of self-regulation, pp13-39. Academic Press, San Diego, CA.
    19. 19. SRL: forethought Participation / Networking Performance Learning
    20. 20. SRL: forethought Participation: low level (eg ‘ ‘experience a MOOC’) (20/ 26) Network: sub- goal for participation (7/ 26) Performance: measurable and concerned participation eg ‘blog once per week’. (13/ 26) Learning: three categories: (1) learning tools (2) learning about specific topics (3) applying knowledge back into practice. (10/24)
    21. 21. SRL: forethought Learning to learn in a MOOC 15/24 changed their goals: most were new to MOOCs 9/24 did not change their goals: (8/9) had studied on a MOOC
    22. 22. SRL: forethought Contribute Contribute Connect Connect COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE Create Create Consume Consume
    23. 23. SRL: performance Active learners who set goals & structure their learning Passive learners who expect others to provide structure Lurkers…. Drop-ins… (Hill & Milligan in Maturing of the MOOC)
    24. 24. SRL: performance
    25. 25. SRL: performance Active (12/29) “Oh there’s some people who are everywhere you turn in the Change 11 MOOC: there’s this group of people who are inspirational, just phenomenal the way they just keep going and they know their way around it.” (P08). “You can read the comments of people who are participating from different places and they give links to things that they are doing or they think while you hear what is happening” (P20). “I have no idea how scattered I am across this MOOC, I have no idea how many contributions I’ve made, 30? 50? I’ve got a lot of replies… I usually end a reply on an open end” (P05).
    26. 26. SRL: performance Lurkers (13/29) “I guess I tend to be a loner and I’ve done more lurking & I'm quite happy lurking, I think it’s an honourable profession”(P21) “Lurking is actually hugely beneficial [knowledge is filtered by the course organisers and has] more value than something I randomly come across on the Internet” (P18) “I'm going out to the MOOC and lurking and getting lots of great interesting ideas [to my] networks” (P01). “I’m more or less like what do you call? A lurker and not very active … I'm always invisible and the reason is that the way I’ve been using the MOOC is to put into things that I'm doing… to be a network mentor” (P17).
    27. 27. SRL: performance Passive (4/29) “Sure, I can read other people’s blogs and that’s not a problem and I comment occasionally, but as far as really putting my ideas out there in the open in my own blog to be trampled on, you know there’s a bit of fear there I think that I have and so that has been difficult for me” (P12). ”I'm not really sure how to find a group of people online who really want to learn about what I most want to learn about.” (P13).
    28. 28. SRL: performance Factors affecting engagement in a MOOC: • Prior Experience • Confidence • Motivation
    29. 29. Scenario 4 SRL: summary Hypothesis: People with high SRL score use different learning strategies in MOOCs • • • Those with high SRL scores tend towards being ACTIVE Those with low SRL scores tend towards being PASSIVE Lurkers interspersed Correlation between degree of Self-Regulation and learning BUT not statistically valid. Now following up. www.gcu.ac.uk/academy/srl-mooc/
    30. 30. Scenario 4 SRL: summary Forethought Learners with high SRL scores set clear goals & can adapt these goals as learning pathways change. Those with low SRL set vague (or no) goals. Performance Learners with high SRL scores & clear goals can adapt these goals as learning pathways change. Reflection Learners with high SRL scores are more likely to reflect on and adapt goals.
    31. 31. A way forward: optimise connections
    32. 32. A way forward:understand learning behaviours Professional Learning in MOOCs Funded through Gates MRI edX/Harvard Futurelearn/KC http://www.gcu.ac.uk/academy/pl-mooc
    33. 33. A way forward: professional learning Technology-enhanced Professional Learning Published by Routledge Oct 2013 Littlejohn & Margaryan (Ed) http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415854092/
    34. 34. How people learn in Massive Open Online Courses University of London, November 2013 Allison Littlejohn Director, Caledonian Academy Chair of Learning Technology www.gcu.ac.uk/academy Collaborators: Dr Colin Milligan, Dr Anoush Margaryan ,Dr Pia Fontana, Lou McGill Glasgow Caledonian University, UK