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What do we know about typical MOOC participants? First insights from the field

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Massive Open Online Courses became a worldwide phenomenon. Especially in Central Europe it is a subject of debates whether universities should invest more money or not. This research study likes to give first answers about typical MOOC participants based on data from different field studies of the Austrian MOOC-platform iMooX. It can be pointed out that the typical learner is a student or an adult learner, strongly interested in the course topic or just interested in learning with media and finally with self- contained learning competencies. The research work concludes that MOOCs broaden the educational field for universities and are a possibility to educate the public in a long run.
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183EMOOCs 2015
RESEARCH TRACK
Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2015
What do we know about typical
MOOC participants? First insights from the eld
Kristina Neuböck and Michael Kopp, Academy of New Media and Knowledge Transfer/
University of Graz, Austria
Martin Ebner, Department of Social Learning/Graz University of Technology, Austria
ABSTRACT
Massive Open Online Courses became a worldwide phenomenon. Especially in Central Europe
it is a subject of debates whether universities should invest more money or not. This research
study likes to give rst answers about typical MOOC participants based on data from different
eld studies of the Austrian MOOC-platform iMooX.
It can be pointed out that the typical learner is a student or an adult learner, strongly
interested in the course topic or just interested in learning with media and nally with self-
contained learning competencies. The research work concludes that MOOCs broaden the
educational eld for universities and are a possibility to educate the public in a long run.
Introduction & Research Question
During the last years MOOCs became a big issue
in higher education. After the rst hype MOOCs
are meanwhile the subject of intensive scientic
research. The related research areas touch on a
number of scientic questions, e.g.: Do MOOCs
really enhance teaching and learning or are they
just old wine in new bottles (Ebner et al., 2014)? Do
MOOCs need a special instructional design (Kopp
& Lackner, 2014) and what advantages, challenges
and obstacles come with them? What conditions
are necessary to anchor MOOCs rmly at the
university? How long will MOOCs remain free for
the general public (Kopp, 2014) and are there any
business models for MOOCs (Fischer et al., 2014)?
The focus of all these considerations is - of course
- on the participants, the learners. A recent study
of the European University Association (Gaebel
et al., 2014) shows that participation in MOOCs
provided by European universities varies greatly and
that participation consists in a combination of own
students, other domestic learners and international
learners, in which the ratio between the three
groups also varies from university to university.
The same applies to completion rates, which vary
between 4% and 50%, depending on the institution
and the course. The median completion rate is 15%,
though only nine European institutions answered
the survey.
The aim of this paper is to learn more about the
average MOOC participant as well as her/his
intentions to participate in a course and to complete
the course. Thus, demographic data is just as
interesting as the motives for course participation
and the competences of the participants. The
research data is gained through several surveys,
which were conducted during the rst three
MOOCs offered by the Austrian MOOC-platform
iMooX (www.imoox.at). Due to the limited responses
it is not possible to draw an overall picture of the
typical MOOC participant, but the paper will show
some signicant tendencies on how a MOOC
participant can be characterized and it will answer
the questions about what a participant in an iMooX
course looks like, what participants expect from
iMooX courses as well as from the iMooX platform
and what competences they bring along by enrolling
for an iMooX course as well as which skills they gain
by participating.
The Austrian iMooX platform
The Austrian MOOC platform iMooX was
established by the University of Graz and the
University of Technology of Graz with the help of
public funding. The main aim of the project is to
provide “education for all”, i.e. not only for students
but for the widest possible public. Therefore, the
target group also includes people who do not have
high school diplomas or university degrees. All
offered materials undertake a scientic claim, but
they are also obliged to the philosophy of lifelong
learning. An additional special feature of iMooX
is the fact that all materials are provided as Open
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Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2015
Educational Resources (OER) under a creative
commons license.
Since iMooX is the one and only Austrian MOOC
platform it gained considerable interest from media.
This meant that some 1,000 persons registered
within a few days after the release of the platform
and some more enrolled for the rst three offered
courses. For the operators of the platform it was
very interesting from the start to know who the
participants are and what motives they have to
attend the courses. Thus, the decision was made
to conduct a corresponding survey to enhance the
design of the courses and the platform with the
help of the given feedback. Unfortunately – and
due to the fact that there was not enough expertise
available at the beginning – the surveys embedded
in the three courses differ slightly. Therefore, the
answers to the questionnaires also vary a bit, but
since the basis of the surveys was always the same,
in principal all data and results can be considered as
valid and comparable.
By now there are nine courses available at iMooX
and another ten to fteen courses will be released
during 2015. A survey will still be carried out in
each course, but with a lower scope, in order not to
unnecessarily bother the participants. This said, the
following data and results refer to the polls from the
rst three courses.
A rst analysis of iMooX
participants
During the summer term 2014 iMooX offered its
rst three courses (Learning online - from what is
possible and feasible, Mechanics - collision of two bodies
in the plane and Bulb moments from Experimental
Physics). These courses were attended by 1,333
participants and 101 graduates (7,6%). In the
courses Mechanics and Experimental Physics each
participant had to complete a questionnaire at the
beginning as well as at the end of the course to
evaluate the iMoox platform and the offered course.
The outcome of the evaluation at the beginning
of the course was 53 lled questionnaires of the
course Mechanics and 63 of the course Experimental
Physics. In the course Learning online the evaluation
was done only at the end of the course, with 83 lled
questionnaires. The questionnaire included ten
issues and information about demographic data. The
aim was to identify the satisfaction with the courses
and the platform.
The following summary supplies information about
the “typical” iMooX-user in the summer term 2014
based on the evaluation results.
Gender, age and education of
the iMooX user
Participants of the iMooX courses were
predominately male i.e. 65% of the learners were
male (see Fig.1). One reason could be the topics
of the courses such as Experimental Physics and
Mechanics, which are typically preferred by men.
This result is similar to a survey at the Stanford
University. In this survey 83 people completed the
survey, 34 female and 49 male. The overall age range
of respondents was 28 to 69 (cf. Rodriguez 2012:8).
Another issue is that the MOOC-format attracts
people who are interested in technology and new
course formats (cf. Koutropoulos et al. 2012:3).
Again, these are favorite issues of a male population.
Fig.1 also shows that there is no signicant
difference between the courses, and that - following
the trend - more technical related courses attract
male learners.
Figure 1. Gender of participants.
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Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2015
Figure 2. Age of participants.
Figure 3. Graduation of participants.
The typical iMooX user’s age was between 20 and 34
years (44%) (see Fig.2). Further 29% were between
35 and 49 years old. In summary we can determine
that nearly three quarter of the interviewees were
between 20 and 49 years old. At least a quarter of
the participants were between 50 and 64 years old,
a target group that in Central Europe normally has a
low represention at universities (at least in German-
speaking countries). Only less than 2% are younger
than 18 or 5% older than 65 years.
If we take a look at the education level of the
participants, most participants obtained either a
school leaving certicate or an academic study.
Based on the fact that iMooX is run by two
universities mainly students attend the courses.
Especially in the course Learning online 40% of
the graduates were students. Two- third of these
students were self-enrolled, only one third took
part by teacher’s requirement. Nevertheless, also
employees, persons on maternity leave or taking
time off took part in the courses. This result is
similar to empirical data from Linnaeus University.
Participants of online courses from this university
are generally older than 25, already have a university
degree, families and full-time employments
(Creelman/Reneland-Forsman 2013:43).
Fig.3 shows that MOOC participants are a highly
educated target group. 89% of the participants
obtained at least a school leaving certicate (high
school) and more than the half hold at least an
undergraduate degree (57%). 41% of the learners
are highly experienced learners due to the fact that
they obtained a master degree and even 9% of the
participants completed a PhD study. This result
is remarkable, if we compare the data with the
educational background of the Austrian population:
In this case 19% complete a primary or secondary
education, 51% a vocational education, 15% obtain a
school leaving certicate and only 15% complete an
academic study (cf. Statistik Austria 2014).
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Although the iMooX participants were highly
educated, only a few have gained experience with
online courses. As pointed out in Fig.4 60% had not
attended an online course previously and only 13%
declared that they have visited more than three
online courses until participating in an iMooX course.
(This result is similar to our registration survey in
the winter term 2014/15. Only one third declared to
enjoy learning in online courses. Let us assume that
only these participants have experiences with online
courses.) An evident fact is that the participants
were generally interested in education. About 63%
(from a basic population of 116) of the respondents
declared that they invested more than ve hours per
month into education during the last year. More than
a quarter invested more than € 500 in education.
According to the interviewees the ability to learn
Figure 4. Number of passed online courses before
attending iMooX.
(69%) and the interest in new knowledge (66%) are
the most important competences during an online
course.
Motives of the iMooX user
One part of the evaluation was to assess the motives
for the course attendance of the iMooX participants
(see Fig.5). The results indicated that gaining
experience with online courses (75% agree this “full”
or “rather”) as well as the course topic (86% agree
this “full” or “rather”) were the driving facts. Further
important reasons for participating were the request
for further training (61%), the individual professional
life (51%) and the personal interest in open online
courses (47%). Only one third of the interviewees
said that also their place of domicile is a valid
reason for attending an open online course. These
reasons may differ from previous assumption, where
distance learning is often the only option for further
education because of family and geographical
matter (cf. Mahieu/Wolming 2013:2-3). Insignicant
factors at our survey were physical handicaps (9%,
two-thirds of these persons were between 20 and
49 years old) and the participation in the course of
friends, acquaintances or relatives (15%).
This result is very similar to the ongoing iMooX
registration survey at the beginning of the winter
term 2014. The iMooX team investigated the
reasons for iMooX registration. Overall, 483
participants were asked until the 30th of September
2014. Once again this result conrmed that the
topic (64%) represents the most important factor
for a registration to an online course. More than
Figure 5. Motives why to attend a iMooX course.
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Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2015
Figure 6. Evaluation of the platform.
Figure 7. Evaluation of the courses and the course units.
half of the respondents (56%) declared that gaining
experience with online courses was the main reason
for their registration.
Evaluation of the iMooX
platform and the iMooX
courses
Noteworthy is also the satisfaction of the
participants with the iMooX platform. First of all
we examined the usability and user friendliness
of the platform, which included the assessment of
the graphic presentation, navigation, structure and
classication as well as the overall assessment of the
platform (see Fig.6). Fortunately, the majority of the
interviewees evaluated the platform with “excellent”
or at least “good”. The best results (84%) could be
found for the overall assessment as well as for the
structure and classication of the platform (81%).
Similar results were reached for the evaluation of
the course contents (see Fig.7). In this evaluation
eld the best results were also achieved for the
general course evaluation. 80% of the learners
were very highly or highly satised with the course.
For 78% of the participants the learning content
and structure were “excellent” or at least “good”.
Furthermore, 77% rated the design of the texts
and 76% the graphic presentation with “excellent”
or at least “good”. In summary the majority of the
participants assessed the platform plus the three
offered courses with “excellent” or at least “good”.
188 EMOOCs 2015
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Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2015
Activity and competences of
iMooX users
The number of certicates showed that the
completion rate is about 7,6%, which is comparable
to other research studies (Hanan & Ebner, 2014).
Generally, the majority of MOOC participants
(about 88%) are lurkers or drop the course (cf.
Koutropoulos et al. 2012:2f). In this regard it is
particularly interesting how many course units were
completed by the participants. This can be - among
other things - analyzed by the frequency of quiz
starts. Quizzes at iMooX and general at MOOCs
are a kind of knowledge check. These checks can be
found at the end of each unit and support the users
in reviewing their increase of knowledge.
The quiz of the rst learning unit was started most
frequently in all three courses. As Fig.8 shows the
number of quiz starts in the course Learning online
- from what is possible and feasible was altogether
4,044. It must be taken into account that each user
has theoretically the possibility to start/complete
each quiz 5 times, which means that the rst quiz
was started on average 4 times/learner. The second
quiz was started/completed 1,947 times. Fig.8
demonstrates also the decrease of the quiz activities
during the course. The result of the course Learning
online is more or less the same in comparison to the
number of quiz starts in the courses Mechanics and
Experimental Physics. Compare this result with the
result from Rodriguez (cf. Rodriguez 2012:9).
Figure 8. Number of quiz starts.
Figure 9. Which competences do you need as a learner to complete a MOOC?
189EMOOCs 2015
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Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2015
Summary of the survey
In summary it can be stated that the typical iMooX
user in the summer term 2014 was male, between
20 and 34 years old and she/he obtained either
a school leaving certicate or an academic study.
The most important reasons for participating in an
online course at iMooX were the topics of the course
and to collect experiences with MOOCs. iMooX
had a positive connotation, the learners were very
satised with the offered courses and the platform.
Further, the activity of iMooX participants during
the different courses is of interest: the activity of the
MOOC participants decreased with the increase of
course units, but at least 7,6 % of the participants
nished the entire course. These graduates
mentioned that the ability of self-contained learning,
the intention to learn as well as their interest in new
knowledge were decisive for completing the course.
Finally, it must be pointed out that the limit of this
study is that the evaluation form was mainly lled
out by learners who completed the course. In
other words we only got response from the most
successful population and did not know why others
skipped the course at an earlier stage.
Discussion
The evaluation of the summer term 2014 at the
iMooX produced some interesting results:
Fig.2 shows that the majority (44%) of the
participants are students aged between 20 and 44
and that more than the half (54%) of the learners
are older than 34 years, which means that our
MOOCs particularly address the sector of adult
education. This educational eld is currently not
in the scope of universities at least in German-
speaking countries. As Kopp et al. (2014) pointed
out further strategies on how to offer education,
also to the adult sector in a long run, are needed.
The idea of iMooX is not only to offer MOOCs
for free and as Open Educational Resource
but also to attract a broad public for learning.
Nevertheless, Fig.3 shows clearly that only 11%
of the (successful) learners have no school leaving
examination. In other words a typical MOOC
participant is a very highly experienced learner.
This fact corresponds with Fig. 9 because learners
rated the competence of self-contained learning
as most important. It must be mentioned that the
ability of self-contained learning is a precondition
to pass an online course successfully. Due to
the fact that our primary and secondary schools
do not have a strong focus on teaching such
competencies, learners with low education simply
do not have the ability to succeed.
Fig.5 shows also an interesting outcome. Due
to the fact that especially in Central Europe the
education is primarily face-to-face the need for
distance education is rather low. MOOCs will not
solve a distance problem but will help to support
time exibility.
Learning only happens in a user-friendly
environment (Ebner & Holzinger, 2003). Learners
have to concentrate on the content and should not
be stressed by the hosting information system.
Fig.6 and Fig.7 show that learners like the iMoox
platform, which was developed with the idea to
present a smart, innovative and less complex
interface.
Finally, Fig.8 shows an exponential decrease of
learners over the duration of the course. This
result correlates highly with other research
studies summarized by Khalil & Ebner, 2014. Due
to the fact that all courses show similar curves
the duration of the MOOCs should be discussed.
From our point of view we lost most of the learners
until week 5. From week 5 onwards the number of
participants was more or less stable. In the future
the idea of short MOOCs (sMOOC) should be
taken into account so that it is easier for learners
to succeed (for example to split one course into
two).
Conclusion
In this contribution we took a rst closer look at
our learners. The evaluation results opened our
minds towards new strategies we have to address,
especially for the adult learner. Furthermore, the
main competence to pass the course successfully is
the ability of self-contained learning. If we would like
to bring learning content to a wide and broad public
this is maybe the crucial factor we have to ensure on
the learner’s side.
Finally, it must be pointed out that this study is a
rst insight to learners’ proles and lot of further
research will be necessary to increase the power of
Massive Open Online Courses.
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Ένας από τους λόγους δημιουργίας των MOOCs ήταν για να προσφέρουν δυνατότητες μόρφωσης σε άτομα που είναι αποκλεισμένα από την τριτοβάθμια εκπαίδευση για οι-κονομικούς ή άλλους λόγους. Η παρούσα εργασία, η οποία αποτελεί τμήμα της βιβλιο-γραφικής ανασκόπησης ερευνών στο πλαίσιο της διδακτορικής έρευνας του πρώτου ερευνητή, επιχειρεί να σκιαγραφήσει τα δημογραφικά χαρακτηριστικά των ατόμων που εγγράφονται σε μαθήματα MOOCs, καθώς επίσης να καταγράψει τα κίνητρα και τους στόχους που τους ωθούν στο να πάρουν αυτή την απόφαση και τα αρχικά συναισθή-ματα που βιώνουν πριν από την έναρξη των μαθημάτων. Τα ευρήματα μπορούν να ληφθούν υπόψη κατά τον εκπαιδευτικό σχεδιασμό Μαζικών Ανοικτών Διαδικτυακών Μαθημάτων (MOOC).
... Κάποιοι συμμετέχουν για πολλοστή φορά σε τέτοιου τύπου προγράμματα, ακόμα και σε περισσότερα από ένα ταυτόχρονα (Bárcena,et al., 2014), έχοντας αποκτήσει αρκετή εμπειρία (Stein & Allione, 2014;Yousef, Chatti, Schroeder, & Wosnitza, 2014b;Macleod, Haywood, Woodgate, & Alkhatnai, 2015;Morris, Hotchkiss, & Swinnerton, 2015;Yousef, et al., 2015), ενώ σε άλλες περιπτώσεις, αυτού του τύπου οι συμμετέχοντες αποτελούν τη μειοψηφία (καθόλου έως μικρή εμπειρία) (Cross, 2013;Kleiman, Wolf, & Frye, 2015;Neuböck, Kopp, & Ebner, 2015). Η κυρίαρχη ηλικιακή ομάδα όσων συμμετέχουν είναι κάτω των 35 ετών (Stein & Allione, 2014;Tomkin & Charlevoix, 2014;Goldwasser, Mankoff, Manturuk, Schmid, & Whitfield, 2016), χωρίς να απουσιάζουν ακραίες περιπτώσεις παρακολούθησης των προγραμμάτων από ανήλικους και υπερήλικες (Tomkin & Charlevoix, 2014). ...
... Από τα εξ αποστάσεως προγράμματα στα οποία συμμετείχαν, ολοκλήρωσαν τα περισσότερα ή όλα, και σε μικρότερο βαθμό λίγα, ελάχιστα ή κανένα (γράφημα 7.13). White, et al., 2014;Neuböck, et al., 2015;Park, et al., 2015;Perna, et al., 2014;Yousef, et al., 2015;Barak, et al., 2016;Watson, et al., 2016;, να επικαιροποιήσουν τις γνώσεις τους ή για την προσωπική τους ανάπτυξη Breslow, et al., 2013;DeBoer, et al., 2013;Gütl, et al., 2014;Stein & Allione, 2014;White, et al., 2014;Gamage, et al., 2015;Kleiman, et al., 2015;Neuböck, et al., 2015;Yousef, et al., 2015;Fidalgo-Blanco, et al., 2016;Chen, et al., 2017;Salmon, et al., 2017;Shapiro, et al., 2017), να αποκτήσουν εμπειρία για τα MOOCs και την online μάθηση γενικότερα (Cross, 2013;Fidalgo-Blanco, et al., 2014;Ferdig, et al., 2014;Gütl, et al., 2014;Kleiman, et al., 2015;Wang & Baker, 2015;Yousef, et al., 2015;Salmon, et al., 2017) και για να αποκτήσουν ποιοτικό, πρωτότυπο ή δωρεάν μαθησιακό υλικό (Cross, 2013;Fidalgo-Blanco, et al., 2014;Fidalgo-Blanco, et al., 2016). ...
... Από τα εξ αποστάσεως προγράμματα στα οποία συμμετείχαν, ολοκλήρωσαν τα περισσότερα ή όλα, και σε μικρότερο βαθμό λίγα, ελάχιστα ή κανένα (γράφημα 7.13). White, et al., 2014;Neuböck, et al., 2015;Park, et al., 2015;Perna, et al., 2014;Yousef, et al., 2015;Barak, et al., 2016;Watson, et al., 2016;, να επικαιροποιήσουν τις γνώσεις τους ή για την προσωπική τους ανάπτυξη Breslow, et al., 2013;DeBoer, et al., 2013;Gütl, et al., 2014;Stein & Allione, 2014;White, et al., 2014;Gamage, et al., 2015;Kleiman, et al., 2015;Neuböck, et al., 2015;Yousef, et al., 2015;Fidalgo-Blanco, et al., 2016;Chen, et al., 2017;Salmon, et al., 2017;Shapiro, et al., 2017), να αποκτήσουν εμπειρία για τα MOOCs και την online μάθηση γενικότερα (Cross, 2013;Fidalgo-Blanco, et al., 2014;Ferdig, et al., 2014;Gütl, et al., 2014;Kleiman, et al., 2015;Wang & Baker, 2015;Yousef, et al., 2015;Salmon, et al., 2017) και για να αποκτήσουν ποιοτικό, πρωτότυπο ή δωρεάν μαθησιακό υλικό (Cross, 2013;Fidalgo-Blanco, et al., 2014;Fidalgo-Blanco, et al., 2016). ...
Thesis
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Το Σεπτέμβριο του 2015, η UNESCO διαμόρφωσε την παγκόσμια ατζέντα με τους στόχους για την αειφόρο ανάπτυξη, που θα πρέπει να υλοποιηθούν μέχρι το 2030. Όσον αφορά στην εκπαίδευση, αναγνωρίστηκε η σημασία της για την κοινωνική και οικονομική ανάπτυξη των λαών, ενώ τέθηκε ο στόχος της διασφάλισης της δίκαιης και χωρίς αποκλεισμούς ποιότητας της εκπαίδευσης και της προώθησης ευκαιριών δια βίου εκπαίδευσης για όλους. Αυτός ο στόχος φαίνεται ότι μπορεί να υλοποιηθεί με τα Ανοικτά Μαζικά Διαδικτυακά Μαθήματα ή MOOCs, όπως είναι ευρέως γνωστά, καθώς προσφέρει τριτοβάθμιου επιπέδου εκπαίδευση σε εκατομμύρια ανθρώπους, σε όλο τον κόσμο. Παρά ταύτα, ένα μεγάλο ποσοστό όσων εγγράφονται στα μαθήματα δεν τα ολοκληρώνουν ποτέ, εμφανίζοντας πολύ μικρά ποσοστά ολοκλήρωσης που κυμαίνονται από 5-15%. Σκοπός της παρούσας διατριβής είναι να διερευνηθεί κατά πόσο ο εκπαιδευτικός σχεδιασμός, η γενικότερη οργάνωση του προγράμματος και η χρήση της μικροεφαρμογής που αναπτύχθηκε (MCII+), μπορεί να βοηθήσει τους εκπαιδευόμενους να αναπτύξουν το βαθμό της αυτορρύθμισής τους επιτυγχάνοντας υψηλές επιδόσεις και μεγαλύτερα ποσοστά ολοκλήρωσης από τα καθιερωμένα. Για το λόγο αυτό σχεδιάστηκε και υλοποιήθηκε επιμορφωτικό πρόγραμμα MOOC με θέμα την «Ενδοσχολική βία και τον εκφοβισμό» το οποίο φιλοξενήθηκε σε πλατφόρμα OpenEdx που εγκαταστήσαμε και παραμετροποιήσαμε σε virtual server του Πανεπιστημίου Αιγαίου . Το επιμορφωτικό πρόγραμμα διάρκειας 8 εβδομάδων, και κατ’ επέκταση και η έρευνα, διεξήχθη από τις 3/2 έως τις 29/3 του 2020. Στο πρόγραμμα συμμετείχαν, κυρίως, εκπαιδευτικοί από όλες τις βαθμίδες εκπαίδευσης, αλλά και στελέχη εκπαίδευσης, φοιτητές και ιδιώτες από όλη την Ελλάδα. Τα ερευνητικά ερωτήματα αφορούσαν τη διερεύνηση των παραγόντων που επηρεάζουν την αυτορρύθμιση των εκπαιδευομένων πριν την εγγραφή τους στο πρόγραμμα, κατά τη διάρκειά του και αφού ολοκληρωθεί. Τέθηκαν, επίσης, ερωτήματα σχετικά με τη συμβολή του εκπαιδευτικού υλικού στην κινητοποίηση των εκπαιδευομένων. Για τη συλλογή των ερευνητικών δεδομένων χρησιμοποιήθηκαν τρία διαφορετικά ερωτηματολόγια που απαντήθηκαν σε τρεις φάσεις του προγράμματος, αρχή, μέσο και λήξη, καθώς και δεδομένα από την ίδια την πλατφόρμα των μαθημάτων (επίδοση), την υπηρεσία Google Analytics (επισκεψιμότητα) και τη μικροεφαρμογή που ενσωματώθηκε στην πλατφόρμα των μαθημάτων και χρησιμοποιήθηκε από τη μία ερευνητική ομάδα (Πειραματική). Τα ποσοτικά και ποιοτικά ερευνητικά δεδομένα που αναλύθηκαν, έδειξαν μια γενική αποδοχή του εκπαιδευτικού σχεδιασμού του προγράμματος, του εκπαιδευτικού του υλικού και του τρόπου που υλοποιήθηκε, συμβάλλοντας στην αυτορρύθμιση όλων των συμμετεχόντων, επιτυγχάνοντας υψηλές επιδόσεις και ποσοστά επιτυχούς ολοκλήρωσης του, ανεξαρτήτως ερευνητικής ομάδας (Ελέγχου, Πειραματικής) στην οποία ανήκαν. Περισσότερο, όμως, βοηθήθηκε, ως προς την αυτορρύθμισή της, η Πειραματική ομάδα η οποία χρησιμοποίησε την ερευνητική εφαρμογή MCII+ που τους υποβοήθησε να εφαρμόσουν την αυτορρυθμιστική στρατηγική τη Ψυχικής αντίθεσης με προθέσεις υλοποίησης (Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions-MCII), καθώς και μια σειρά άλλων αυτορρυθμιστικών διεργασιών της 1ης (Πρόνοια) και 3ης (Αναστοχασμός) φάσης του μοντέλου αυτορρύθμισης του Zimmerman.
... Add to this the additional measure of self-direction required of independent, self-paced, and self-managed distance education, and two predictable outcomes are the result. MOOC research findings indicate that most MOOC registrants and completers are already successfully credentialed students (Healy, 2017;Neuböck et al., 2015). Participant characteristics such as age, gender, education, and online experience can predict important MOOC engagement factors like goal setting and activity level (Li, 2019). ...
Book
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The Introduction to Technology Enabled Learning MOOC (TELMOOC), a massive open online course developed by the Commonwealth of Learning and Athabasca University, was offered a total of ten times between January 2017 and July 2021. The purpose of TELMOOC was to provide an accessible learning opportunity to teachers, particularly for those in the Global south, to expand upon their knowledge and skills regarding the use of technology and open educational resources in teaching and learning. Designed with the inquiry MOOC (iMOOC) model that complies with the Community of Inquiry framework, the TELMOOC has been successful as a large-scale educational implementation. This book presents a critical perspective into the design and delivery of the TELMOOC. Of particular interest to administrators, educators, and instructional designers is the descriptions and outcomes of the course from the view of the participants. How and why the course interactions were incorporated to descriptions of new educator roles are included in this research-based book that intends to provide a roadmap for others to follow. Articulated in the book is a proposed way in which MOOCs completion rates should be reported as well as an introduction to a holistic quality framework for MOOCs (The PAGE MOOC Success framework). Finally, an evidence-based model of online delivered teacher professional development for MOOCs is outlined showcasing the experiential opportunities provided to educators in the TELMOOC.
... When planning a MOOC for private sector employees, it must be considered that they are not typical MOOC participants. Studies have shown that participants in MOOCs still tend to be individuals with prior experience in higher education and do not automatically tend to attract people who are distanced from (online) education [23]. ...
Article
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Digital skills are now essential, not only in information and communications technology (ICT) jobs, but for employees across all sectors. The aim of this article is to detail how employees’ digital skills can be fostered through a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), how such an offer is used and what the effects of such a measure are. Using an approach oriented at action research and design-based research activities, the authors describe the basics of their finding on existing European competence frameworks for digital skills and European projects that used MOOCs, the development and design of the MOOC, the evaluation on the basis of learning analytics insights and a questionnaire, as well as a reflection. The MOOC was offered as Open Educational Resources (OER) on the Austrian MOOC platform iMOOX.at from March to April 2021, with 2083 participants, of whom 381 fully completed the course (at end of June 2021) and 489 filled out the final questionnaire.
... Mit iMooX 2.0 erfolgte auch eine weitere graphische Bearbeitung der Benutzeroberfläche auf Basis von durchgeführten Usability-Untersuchungen und neuen Userstories. Somit sollte die Zufriedenheit der Lernenden weiter gesteigert werden, wiewohl diese mit über 80 % generell auf sehr hohem Niveau lag (Neuböck et al, 2015). Aufbauend auf den Vorerfahrungen wurde 2020 durch das Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung im Rahmen einer nationalen Ausschreibung die Weiterentwicklung von iMooX.at ...
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iMooX.at ist die österreichische MOOC-Plattform, also eine Plattform die kostenlose Online-Kurse für viele offen lizenziert anbietet. Damit folgt sie internationalen Trends und hilft Hochschullehre auf höchstem Niveau auf digitalem Wege anzubieten. In diesem Beitrag soll kurz die Entstehungsgeschichte und wesentliche Milestones beleuchtet werden. Abschließend werden ein paar mögliche Entwicklungsschritte genannt.
... In case of iMooX.at, about half of the participants have no academic background, and more than a half are older than 35 years [7,8]. Although MOOCs so fare typically reach more well-educated people, this is opening-up educational content from universities to a broader target group and people who would not get similar learning materials and support from other institutions, especially not for free. ...
Chapter
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This paper discusses the general thesis that massive open online courses (in short MOOC), open educational resources (in short OER) and learning analytics are an impactful trio for future education, especially if combined. The contribution bases upon our practical experience as service providers and researchers in the department “Educational Technology” at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) in Austria. The team members provide support to lecturers, teachers and researchers in these addressed fields for several years now, for example as host of the MOOC platform iMooX.at, providing only OER since 2015. Within this contribution, we will show, against some doubtful or conflicting opinions and positions, that (a) MOOCs are opening-up education; (b) learning analytics give insights and support learning, not only online learning, if implemented in MOOCs; and (c) that OER has the potential for sustainable resources, innovations and even more impact, especially if implemented in MOOCs.
... There are already many evaluations that assess the quality of the MOOC platforms and of the courses themselves [8]. However, the aim is mainly to identify the satisfaction with the courses and the platform" [9]. It is certainly surprising the high dropout rates, for example 7.6% of the average 50,000 participants on Coursera conclude a MOOC (variance 0.67%-19.2%) ...
Conference Paper
Over the last few years, Europe witnessed a rapid and massive expansion of e-learning courses. An increasing number of adults are following e-learning courses and MOOCs, with different motivations. Research has shown that online learning attracts learners from medium and higher socioeconomic and education background [1], so a challenge is to open up e-learning and MOOCs to people not traditionally participating in lifelong learning. The monitoring of learners has been emphasised in recent policy documents as a way to improve MOOCs effectiveness. 'New Skills Agenda for Europe' [2] emphasised the need for EU member states to have a ‘better understanding of performance of graduates’. The Council´s Recommendation on tracking graduates (November 2017) emphasized the need to improve the availability of qualitative and quantitative information about what graduates from different education and training settings do after they complete their education and training. This paper is the preliminary result from ASTRE project, a project based on Online Learning for adults and its impact. The aim of this paper is to study different MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) providers in order to analyse existing tracking systems. MOOC providers have been mapped at international level. A survey has been created and launched and in depth interviews have been conducted. Despite finding some universities with no tracking system, results show many organisations or universities with online learning, implement somehow a tracking system to monitor the students. What is really surprising, is the fact that, once the student is not enrolled in the organisation, there is not any further contact. Consequently, there is no information on the impact online learning had on the learner’s personal and professional competences. A common response from every survey was the importance given to track the student. Acknowledgements: The ASTRE project has received funding from the European Union’s Erasmus + Spanish National Agency under grant agreement no 2019-1-ES01-KA204-065644. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.
... t keine Zugangsbeschränkungen; die Kursteilnahme sowie auch Zertifikate sind kostenfrei. Die Kurse wenden sich an eine breite Öffentlichkeit und werden auf aktuellem Stand der Wissenschaft konzipiert. Viele Teilnehmer/innen bei den iMooX-Kursen, etwa die Hälfte, haben einen akademischen Hintergrund und über die Hälfte sind 35 Jahre und älter (vgl. Neuböck, Kopp u. Ebner, 2015). Mit den MOOCs werden also in Österreich vor allem gut ausgebildete, aber auch viele ältere Erwachsene erreicht. Im Unterschied zum US-amerikanischen Raum, bei dem MOOCs von (teuren) Universitäten als Möglichkeit gesehen werden, potenzielle Studierende zu umwerben (Fischer et al., 2014), hat die Plattform iMooX.at vorrangig den Zweck, O ...
Chapter
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Seit rund 30 Jahren spielen digitale Technologien eine wichtig werdende und wandelnde Rolle bei ihrer Nutzung und Auswirkung auf die österreichische Erwachsenenbildung. Nach einem kurzen Überblick über die Entwicklungen und Auswirkungen beschreibt der Beitrag zunächst Innovationen der Erwachsenenbildung durch Digitalisierung. Hier wird unter anderem auf MOOCs (kurz für Englisch: „massive open online course“) eingegangen und das Konzept des Inverse Blended Learnings sowie die erfolgreiche Umsetzung für die EBmooc-Umsetzungen präsentiert. Im Anschluss werden wichtige Herausforderungen der Erwachsenenbildung benannt, insbesondere die Herausforderung von Ungleichheiten und herausfordernde Unterschiede beim digitalen Basiswissen zwischen den Geschlechtern in Österreich. Der Beitrag schließt mit einem Appell zur aktiven Mitgestaltung zukünftiger Entwicklungen der traditionellen Erwachsenenbildungseinrichtungen auf dem Bildungsmarkt der (zukünftigen) Weiterbildungsmöglichkeiten.
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Mit der Abkürzung MOOC für „Massive Open Online Courses“ werden Online-Kurse bezeichnet, die mehr als 150 TeilnehmerInnen erreichen. Diese Lern- und Darbietungsform von Inhalten für sehr viele Personen, auch aus unterschiedlichen Einrichtungen und persönlichen Situationen, ist auch für die Erwachsenen- und Weiterbildung interessant. Auf der österreichischen MOOC-Plattform iMooX.at werden seit 2014 MOOCs mit offen lizenzierten Bildungsmaterialien von Hochschullehrenden angeboten, die ohne weitere Zugangsvoraussetzungen (wie z. B. Hochschulreife) genutzt werden können. Einige der Online-Kurse sind explizit der Erwachsenen- und Weiterbildung zuzuordnen und werden von EB-Einrichtungen (mit-)veranstaltet. Die Verantwortlichen für diese MOOCs mit insgesamt etwa 21.000 registrierten TeilnehmerInnen und mehreren Auszeichnungen tragen in dieser Veröffentlichung ihre Erfahrungen zusammen: Wo liegen Potenziale von MOOCs? Wo gibt es Schwierigkeiten und Herausforderungen? Welche Empfehlungen gibt es für NachahmerInnen? Dieser Beitrag ist somit ein kondensierter Blick auf den aktuellen MOOC-Einsatz in der Erwachsenenbildung und unter der Voraussetzung der Nutzung offen lizenzierter Bildungsmaterialien.
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iMooX.at is the Austrian MOOC platform founded in 2014. This platform offers free, openly licensed online courses for all, so called Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs). It aims to offer university education in an innovative and digital way.In this article, we will briefly look at the history of the platform and its main milestones till now. Finally, a few possible development steps will be pointed out and discussed.
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Statistics are often used to reveal significant differences between online and campus-based education. The existence of online courses with low completion rates is often used to justify the inherent inferiority of online education compared to traditional classroom teaching. Our study revealed that this type of conclusion has little substance. We have performed three closely linked analyses of empirical data from Linnaeus University aimed at reaching a better understanding of completion rates. Differences in completion rates revealed themselves to be more substantial between faculties than between distribution forms. The key-factor lies in design. Courses with the highest completion rates had three things in common; active discussion forums, complementing media and collaborative activities. We believe that the time has come to move away from theoretical models of learning where web-based learning/distance learning/e-learning are seen as simply emphasizing the separation of teacher and students. Low completion rates should instead be addressed as a lack of insight and respect for the consequences of online pedagogical practice and its prerequisites.
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The paper deals with necessary requirements to implement MOOCs at European universities, by the example of Austria. As the respective general conditions and business environments are obviously different from the university system in the United States the analysis of advantages and obstacles of offering MOOCs is done from a local point of view including lecturers’ and students’ perspectives as well as necessary preconditions that have to be established by the universities and the government. Thereby, challenges in the fields of content creation, the supply of MOOCs, the assessment of knowledge and the development of business models are pointed out and discussed.
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MOOCs (as an acronym for Massive Open Online Courses) meanwhile engage universities not only in the USA but also in Europe. Currently one of the main questions that come along with MOOCs is if they do have an additional didactic benefit and if so how this benefit can be achieved. This paper therefore deals with the analysis of instructional design models and traditional learning theories with regard to their influence on the designing process of MOOCs. These analyses are enriched by initial experiences with providing the first Austrian MOOC offered at the first Austrian MOOC-platform. From these considerations results a pedagogical guideline for the practical development of MOOCs.
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Many MOOCs initiatives continue to report high attrition rates among distance education students. This study investigates why students dropped out or failed their MOOCs. It also provides strategies that can be implemented to increase the retention rate as well as increasing overall student satisfaction. Through studying literature, accurate data analysis and personal observations, the most significant factors that cause high attrition rate of MOOCs are identified. The reasons found are lack of time, lack of learners’ motivation, feelings of isolation and the lack of interactivity in MOOCs, insufficient background and skills, and finally hidden costs. As a result, some strategies are identified to increase the online retention rate, and will allow more online students to graduate.
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Massive Open Online Courses, shortly MOOCs, are a trending phenomenon in online education. Neither distance education nor online courses are new, but especially in the field of technology enhanced learning, MOOCs have been gathering enormous attention by the public. Thus, following the main idea of bringing education to a broad range of people, two universities in Graz developed an xMOOC platform for the German speaking area, mostly addressing people in Austria. Before the first courses started the authors reflected on how such a MOOC should be carried out and which key factors (didactical, technical and administrative) have to be considered. This research study strongly concentrates on developing a checklist for practitioners who would like to do an xMOOC in the future by examining different xMOOCs and reflecting first experiences gathered through daily work on MOOCs. It can be concluded that doing a Massive Open Online Course is much more challenging as maybe expected at first sight. Nevertheless the proposed checklist will help to overcome first barriers and provide solid steps towards one’s first online course.
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The main course at the Institute of Structural Concrete (IBB) of Graz University of Technology has been supported by the e-Learning project iVISiCE (Interactive Visualizations in Civil Engineering) using a web-based course management system since the year 2000. Within this project a large number of animations, simulations and visualizations have been created that are used as Learning Objects (LO). The most interesting part, however, was the creation of Interactive Learning Objects (ILO). These require the students to operate the visualizations interactively by themselves. During the design and development of these ILOs we considered aspects of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and User Centered Design (UCD).
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Due to societal changes there is a growing need for distant and adult learning. The reason to participate in education and the choices that students make may differ. In this study the factors age, gender, rate of studies and parenthood have been analysed in order to see how these relate to different motivational factors for choosing a web-based course. The data has been based on a questionnaire, covering 1270 beginner students in the spring semester of 2011 and contains their background characteristics and items focusing on their motives. These could be categorized into four different motives: (1) Format, (2) Content, (3) Economic, and (4) Curiosity. The results showed that Format was regarded as the most important factor for choosing an Internet-based course, followed by Content, Curiosity and the Economic factor. Furthermore, group differences were investigated with respect to age, gender, parenthood and rate of study. The findings show that distant education fulfils an important function for mature students, women and students with children. These groups presumably consider the flexibility that web-based courses provide advantageous. Family situations or working-life obligations may contribute to this. Changes in people's working lives are likely to continue, which presumably increases the demand for flexible learning situations.
Revenue vs. Costs of MOOC Platforms. Discussion of Business Models for xMOOC Providers, based on Empirical Findings and Experiences during Implementation of the Project iMooX
  • H Fischer
  • S Dreisiebner
  • O Franken
  • M Ebner
  • M Kopp
  • T Köhler
 Fischer, H., Dreisiebner, S., Franken, O., Ebner, M., Kopp, M., Köhler, T. (2014). Revenue vs. Costs of MOOC Platforms. Discussion of Business Models for xMOOC Providers, based on Empirical Findings and Experiences during Implementation of the Project iMooX. (pp. 2991-3000), ICERI2014 Proceedings, 7 th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, Seville (Spain) 17-19 November, 2014: IATED.
E-Learning in European Higher Education Institutions. Results of a Mapping Survey
  • M Gaebel
  • V Kupriyanova
  • R Morais
  • E Colluci
 Gaebel, M.; Kupriyanova, V.; Morais, R.; Colluci, E. (2014). E-Learning in European Higher Education Institutions. Results of a Mapping Survey conducted in October-December 2013.a
Emotive Vocabulary in MOOCs: Context & Participant Retention
  • A Koutropoulos
  • M Gallagher
  • S Abajian
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