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TRACKING, A NECESSITY TO IMPROVE ONLINE LEARNING

A. Protopsaltis1, A. Schorer1, D. Gavalas2, A. Kostas2, G.A. Makrides3, R. Kyrillou3, N. Dimopoulou4, N. Kazantzidou4, E. D´Angelo5, C. Formica5, P. Díaz-García6, J. Gisbert-Payá 6

1Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (SPAIN)
2University of Aegean (GREECE)
3European Association Erasmus Coordinators (CYPRUS)
4IDEC, SA (GREECE)
5Università Telematica Pegaso (ITALY)
6Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
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.

References:
[1] Zafras, I., Kostas, A., & Sofos, A. (2020). MOOCS & PARTICIPATION INEQUALITIES IN DISTANCE EDUCATION: A SYSTEMATIC LITEATURE REVIEW 2009-2019. European Journal of Open Education and E-learning Studies, 5(1). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejoe.v5i1.3260
[2] EC (2016). A new skills agenda for Europe, Brussels https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2016/EN/1-2016-381-EN-F1-1.PDF