Comment on 5 key points to increased pass rates on a MOOC by amahoney

Dear Thomas,
thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog and for your insightful views.
I liked your statement that “the way is always to combine information with interaction, gamification or else to support learning”. I am really eager to try the gamifiation module on this course as soon as I get the chance. People do need interaction with a simulation in order to practuce online or better yet, practice online with the simulation and then come together with others in order to do face to face lab work and be more engaged with the learning.
Also in this video above, the presenter stated that failure rates in his MOOC fell from 40/41% to 9% using the flipped classroom blended learning model. The test was run on a Californian university where students completed the MOOC at a distance but came together for the lab work. He was able to replicate this same effect by licensing the MOOC to other locations around the world. Blended learning remains consistently more productive. So the different test groups would need to be geographically close.

Comments for Adrienne O Mahoney’s EDC lifestream

Comment on 5 key points to increased pass rates on a MOOC by Tom

I am now responding to two of your article.

Great that you also liked the article:
And I went through your opinions on How to make MOOCs successful. I absolutely agree on the 5 aspects you mentioned in your article. Based on my experience in adult education, the way is always to combine information with interaction, gamification or else to support learning. As I am comparing some MOOCs I can already see a huge difference between those who make use of a great variety of methods and those copy and pasting the same method over and over again. A very important aspect of online learning and the MOOCs is the possibility to rewind and repeat certain topics again – the great advantage of digital learning via MOOCs or other LMS.

I kind of stepped over your comment that online office hours are not manageable due to great size of participants. Yes and No. In my experience the number of participants making use of such options is relatively low, so I would give it a try. It may help certain students and pushes those who feel the need for some teacher – student interaction alive. Of course if we are talking about MOOCS with several thousands of participants this may not be feasible.

Another issue are the “Peer learning via discussion boards. When students respond to each other’s questions, they are learning by teaching other students” I absolutely agree with you that teacher presence is a must. Or should we think of creating a bot to moderate wrong answers or at least alerting the teacher in case discussion goes in the wrong direction !?!

Comments for Adrienne O Mahoney’s EDC lifestream

End Week Summary 6 – How to establish effective MOOCs?

While finishing the search on possible MOOCs, it became obvious that in many MOOCs – intended or non intended is no proper interaction amongst participants and therefore a lack of community building/ a missing online learners community.

But is it important to build an online community amongst learners? Following discussion on twitter with @Eva07686348, @erin11k and @DavidYeats3 it is certainly ok to accept different learning styles and types.

But still we are in the century of intensive digital communication and interaction. As a trainers or course designer my general interest is to create as much interaction as possible by all means necessary.

A livid learners community is helpful for learning and active interaction with course content, even though I have to accept that there are different types of learners.


 Instructors should strive to use strategies that provide the best match between curriculum content and outcomes as well as students’ past experiences, learning styles, and learning preferences. (Jason Alley and Karen Greenhaus (2007, page 21)

The web is full on strategies on how to improve your instructional design, improve interaction, turn lurkers into contributers.

Based on the assumption that for most participant even a generally low interaction with others is helpful, course designers should have the interest to know who is observing, learning and participating in “silence” and who is just enrolled without interest in achieving course objectives.

How could I find out? As course designer and can follow to some extend the behaviour of enrolled students but still how to distinguish? Yes, I could check the number of enrolled students, check who takes part in discussions and finally monitor, those who do the set assignments (if there are).

So even if I can’t distinguish them at least I should be able to motivate as many participants as possible and ‘lure’ them into participation in by design of the course as it was very well described by Jason Alley and Karen Greenhaus

The strategy on how to bring as much participants to discuss and engage is very much connected to the general question on how to build relationships and communities without having the face to face interaction.

I came across some articles on how to transfer human face to face interactions into digital communication and engagement.

I will further explore these scenarios in my micro – ethnography.



Jason Alley and Karen Greenhaus (2007): Turning Lurkers into Learners, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), (2016): Turking learners into . 




Comment on Don’t only blame the MOOCs for missing interaction (and possible effective learning). User could make use of the existing interaction tools available – even though not triggered by course developers #mscedc by 12 ways to make MOOCs more interactive – Adrienne O Mahoney’s EDC lifestream

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