Hasso Plattner Institute (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 8237-8246
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
In recent years, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs - particularly, platform-based or so called xMOOCs) have become a phenomenon presenting the prospect of free high class education to anyone by offering the possibility to teach Thousands of participants simultaneously.
MOOCs are a highly effective and valuable tool in the context of life-long learning.

Many learning theories propagate the benefits of collaborative learning. According to recent research, deep learning and the development of critical and higher order thinking skills only occur through interaction and collaboration.

Most major MOOC platforms, however, offer only very restricted technical support for team work and collaboration.

The standard MOOC model is to present a pre-defined set of learning materials to the learners, often enriched with self-tests and some additional communication possibilities, such as forums or direct messaging.

The paper at hand motivates the support for collaborative approaches in online learning and examines the current situation in terms of collaboration features on various MOOC platforms. It discusses which tools for collaboration and communication are useful and required within this context.
Finally, an online collaboration toolkit for MOOCs, which has--at least partially--already been implemented on the openHPI platform, is presented.

We evaluate its current acceptance amongst openHPI’s users and suggest further steps to be taken.

openHPI is the MOOC platform offered by the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI). The HPI is associated with the University of Potsdam, Germany and offers study programs in IT-Systems Engineering and Design Thinking.
openHPI has offered about twenty self produced courses on various ICT topics since September 2012--hosting between 5,000 and 19,000 participants per course.
e-learning, collaborative learning, MOOC, MOOCs, online learning, team work.