Our publication about „MOOCs as granular systems: design patterns to foster participant activity“ is now published as part of the new eLearning papers issue.
MOOCs often suffer from high drop-out and low completion rates. At the beginning of the course, the audience is indeed “massive”; thousands of people wait for the course to begin, but in the end only a low number of participants stay active and complete the course. This paper answers the research question “Is there a specific point during an xMOOC where learners decide to drop out of the course or to become lurkers?” by identifying MOOCs as a challenging learning setting with a “drop-out problem” and a decrease in participant activity after the fourth to fifth course week. These are the first results of a Learning Analytics view on participant activity within three Austrian MOOCs. This “drop-out point” led the paper to introduce a design pattern or strategy to overcome the “drop-out point”: “Think granular!” can be seen as an instructional design claim for MOOCs in order to keep participant activity and motivation high, and that results in three design patterns: four-week MOOCs, granular certificates and suspense peak narratives
Reference: Lackner, E., Ebner, M., Khalil, M. (2015) MOOCs as granular systems: design patterns to foster participant activity, eLearning Papers, 42 (2015), pp. 28-37