MOOC Data Big Data

In Becoming ruminative in education on March 6, 2013 at 3:16 PM


The biggest buzz word in the educational technology world in 2012 was MOOC (abbreviated as in the above picture).   With the prevalence of MOOC, I myself am currently taking two MOOCs because one, I am appealed to the content presented, and two, it’s intriguing to think that you are taking the same course at the same time with thousands of others worldwide.  The concept of MOOC to me is somewhat similar to the game play in MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role-playing game) because both require participants to have to some extent a level of digital literacy, invite participatory actions, and engage in social interactions devoid of the barrier of geographical boundaries.  The distinction may be that in a MOOC, you learn to learn and in a MMORPG you play to learn.

The rise of MOOC hints at the possibility that it can generate vast quantities of data, from course completion rates, to assessments, to student learning experience.  Then supposedly Data analytics can shed light on these data.  Below is a chart which displays numeric data of Duke’s first MOOC for undergraduates on bioelectricity.


What immediately caught my eyes was the low completion rate (coming from a bottle half empty perspective), even though I can look at it from the other end, the bottle half full perspective.  What is causing these participants to become truant online course roamers?  And what can be done to tinker a MOOC course structure and content to boost completion rate (I would assume that MOOC designers would love to see a higher completion rate anyhow)?  A lot of interesting questions can be asked.  For more details, please refer to the following link for the full article.

Big (MOOC) Data

Finally, you might wonder if MOOC is merely an expansion of LMS (learning management system) with the implementation of social media to further participant interaction and learning experience?  Perhaps so and maybe not so, since unlike a course hosted by a close-ended LMS, MOOC is designed to procure a much more open-ended large-scale participation to crowd-source information and feedback, in the hope of creating optimal learning experiences.

  1. […] Wu, Min Lun (Alan). “MOOC Data Big Data.” Learning to Teach & Teaching to Learn, March 6, 2013. […]

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