Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have great potential to change where and how people learn. But MOOCs have a typical completion rate in the single digits. One reason for such dismal results? Possibly the lack of social interaction experienced in online learning.
Carolyn Rosé, an associate professor in the LTI, hopes to change that with her latest research on MOOCs and online learning. A recent article by edSurge, an independent information resource and community for the education technology community, highlighted Rosé's research into the impact social interaction has on online learning and the methods she's explored to add social engagement into MOOCs.
Specifically, the article calls out her work on Bazaar, a tool Rosé and her colleagues created that's being piloted in statistics courses in California's community colleges this semester. After online learners complete a lesson, they can opt to enter an online chat group to discuss and apply what they just learned. Bazaar uses an algorithmic matching process to sort the students into groups, and supplies a chatbot that prompts the groups to begin discussion and reflect on the material covered in the session.
"The way people interact with an agent fundamentally changes when there’s another human around," Rosé told edSurge. In studies, students who chatted with other students had a 70 percent lower rate of attrition than those who chose not to complete the activity or who could only talk with the chatbot.
"Often in online courses students disappear and drop," said Barbara Illowsky, dean of basic skills and online educational resources (OER) and a professor of mathematics and statistics at De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif. "I’m hoping this helps them to stay vested in the course as they’re working with their classmates."
Read the full story on edSurge.