Onlea Corporation (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 1040-1045
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0124
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
The Capstone course for the Software Product Management specialization required a unique type of learner interaction. Onlea Corporation and the University of Alberta collaborated to bring to life a project simulation where the student started his first day as Product Manager interacting with a new client to gather requirements and formulate a project plan:

A brief sample section of the learner interaction can be found here:

The full specialization is hosted as a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) in Coursera ( and it is composed of 6 courses where the student is given the theory to master Agile software management practices to lead a team of developers and interact with clients. In the final Capstone Project, the student is able to practice and apply management techniques to realistic scenarios that are faced as a Software Product Manager.

In this talk we will take you through the design process followed to develop the Software Product Management Capstone. We will also review the gamification techniques currently used to generate engagement and increase completion rates in Online Courses and Digital Learning Experiences.

In partnership with the University of Alberta, Onlea has developed over 17 MOOCs since 2014. In order to ensure we are constantly updating our engagement toolset, our MOOCs have been evaluated across 8 different factors in online learning, and their effect on "Course Completions". These factor include: Number of quizzes per module, course specific readings, links to external readings, directed forum discussions, peer review assignments, interactive learning objects, and un-gradded quizzes. These 8 factors taken together generate a course "Engagement Index".

When compared against the 17 MOOCs under the "Engagement Index" evaluation, The Software Product Management Capstone has the highest completion rates.

When compared against similar MOOCs in Coursera, the results are similar, leading to above average completion rates. As of November 2017, the Software Product Management had achieved 1136 completers out of 2048 enrolled learners; that is a completion rate of 55% in comparison with the average for similar courses of less than 15%. When the number of learners completing the Capstone is measured against active learners (those who participated beyond just registering, e.g. watching a lesson or completing an assignment), the completion rate jumps to 65% - based on 1136 completers out of 1747 active learners for this course.

With the high completion rate results in mind for the Software Product Management Capstone, the 8 factors contributing towards the "Engagement Index" have been weighted based on their contribution towards completion rates. As an example, the use of interactive learning objects (E.g. gamification techniques) was given a higher weight when compared to other factors like peer review assignments - The Software Product Management Capstone has 17 peer review assignments.

The results of the updated "Engagement Index" have been tabulated and will be measured against future course development in 2018. What is clear from this first evaluation is that learning can not be a passive experience. MOOCs and other types of asynchronous learning require changes to the way the learner interacts in order to achieve higher engagement and completion rates. Gamification Techniques are key to making the learning experience: interactive and engaging.
MOOC, Interactive Learning Objects, e-learning, Decision Trees, Augmented Learning.