1 Università di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’, Dipartimento di Matematica (ITALY)
2 Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 2074-2078
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
After the release of the online course on Artificial Intelligence by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig in 2011, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC's) have attracted the interest of students and universities across the world. MOOC's are changing the paradigm that specialized and advance knowledge, in particular the technical and scientific one, can only be acquired through the enrolment into a tertiary institution, and in some cases after paying huge fees.

Despite that the content is usually accessible to students with a minimum of prerequisites, the ratio of students who finally achieved to successfully passed the course is very low, in general it is below the 10%. This is not due to a difficult evaluation system, since this is usually carried out with test questions or with coevaluation by peers using rubrics. The main problem for the stickiness and permanence into these courses is the liquid commitment of the students with finishing the course, which is due to be free. Even in the case of students who finish the course, they usually only achieved a liquid learning of the content in the sense of Bauman an Mazzeo (2012). To this frame we have to add a usually excessive compartmentalization of the content into videos that hinders the connection of the different topics. Moreover, this also makes harder a later access to a specific content.

A proposed solution to this problem is the design of concept maps (Novak & Cañas, 2006) by the teachers to later be added as a supplementary material to the contents of the course. This experience was taken in the development of a MOOC on Applications of Graph Theory to real life problems (Conejero & Jordánm 2013). For each unit of the course a concept map was designed including all the concepts and applications, and showing the connections among all of them along each lesson. Its use was acknowledged by the students as very useful guide to follow the course.

[1] Bauman, Z. and R. Mazzeo, R. (2012). On education: Conversations with Ricardo Mazzeo. Ed. Wiley.
[2] Conejero, J.A. and Jordán, C. Aplicaciones de la Teoría de Grafos a la vida real, offered by UPV[x] at Available on-line on December 1st, 2014.
[3] Novak J. D. and Cañas A. J. (2006). The theory underlying concept maps and how to construct them (Technical Report No. IHMC CmapTools 2006-01). Pensacola, FL: Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.
MOOC, concept mapping, online education.