Pushing Toward a More Personalized MOOC: Exploring Instructor Selected Activities, Resources, and Technologies for MOOC Design and Implementation
Keywords:massive open online courses (MOOCs), personalization, instructional design, MOOC instructors
This study explores the activities, tools, and resources that instructors of massive open online courses (MOOCs) use to improve the personalization of their MOOCs. Following email interviews with 25 MOOC and open education leaders regarding MOOC personalization, a questionnaire was developed. This questionnaire was then completed by 152 MOOC instructors from around the world. While more than 8 in 10 respondents claimed heavy involvement in designing their MOOCs, only one-third placed extensive effort on meeting unique learner needs during course design, and even fewer respondents were concerned with personalization during course delivery. An array of instructional practices, technology tools, and content resources were leveraged by instructors to personalize MOOC-based learning environments. Aligning with previous research, the chief resources and tools employed in their MOOCs were discussion forums, video lectures, supplemental readings, and practice quizzes. In addition, self-monitoring and peer-based methods of learner feedback were more common than instructor monitoring and feedback. Some respondents mentioned the use of flexible deadlines, proposed alternatives to course assignments, and introduced multimedia elements, mobile applications, and guest speakers among the ways in which they attempted to personalize their massive courses. A majority of the respondents reported modest or high interest in learning new techniques to personalize their next MOOC offering.
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