University of Alicante (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 6480-6487
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have been around us since 2008, when around 2,300 students took part in a course called “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge”, organized by the University of Manitoba (Canada). However, 2012 was widely recognized as “The year of the MOOC”, because some MOOC initiatives, such as Coursera, Udacity, or edX, gained a world-wide popularity.
Many experts consider MOOCs a “revolution in education”. However, other experts think is too soon to make such a claim and MOOCs still have to prove their real value. Unfortunately, there are not many research studies on MOOCs.
In this paper, we present some lessons learned from our MOOC on XML (extensible Markup Language). Some features our MOOC included were self-paced learning, an online discussion group, and assessment of learning students progressed through the course. We used Google CourseBuilder as LMS (Learning Management Systems).
Our MOOC had two groups of students: 30 tuition-paying students from de University of Alicante (official students), and 300 students from the general public who took the online class free of charge (non-official students). With official students we applied the flip teaching or flipped classroom method. Official students had to enrol in the MOOC as the rest of the non-official students and they had to view all the videos and do all the online activities outside of class time. Therefore, we did not have to impart the initial lessons of the subject. This allowed us to have more time inside the class to be used for additional learning-based activities. Besides, we could spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing.
Apart from the data gathered from the LMS, we conducted two online surveys to better understand how students learnt. The goal of our study was to discover if there was any correlation between the subject perception of the quality of the course and the learning style of each student.
Firstly, students answered an online survey which goal was to measure the quality of the instructional material. Students had to assess the quality of the audio and the video image, the duration of the videos, the content of the videos, and the difficulty of the quizzes. This survey was a 13-item questionnaire.
Secondly, students answered the Index of Learning Styles, an online survey based on the learning style model formulated by Richard M. Felder and Linda K. Silverman. This model is used to categorize students’ learning styles based on the selection of some preferences from a group of four dimensions (active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, and sequential/global). This survey was a 44-item questionnaire.
In this paper we present the results and the conclusions of our study.
MOOC, on-line learning, quality assessment.