Exploring factors impacting student engagement in open access courses: Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning: Vol 34, No 2

Abstract:  Studies on student engagement in learning have mainly focused on undergraduate degree courses. Limited attempts have been made to examine student engagement on open access enabling courses, which is targeted to underrepresented students in higher education. Students on open access enabling courses are at high risk due to a low academic achievement in high school, the gap between schooling, work and post-secondary education, and different kinds of personal and academic barriers. This paper reports on a pilot quantitative study using a survey method undertaken at an Australian university. The study examined a range of issues related to student engagement, including learning barriers, engagement and experience in learning, skills attained, motivation to complete study, career pathway, and key reasons for selecting a particular pathway. The study found that online students are less engaged in learning and, therefore, efforts need to be made to improve their sense of belonging to the university. The findings of the study are critical due to high attrition on open access enabling courses and it argues the need to improve the engagement, retention, and success of students on such courses.

Could Remixing Old MOOCs Give New Life to Free Online Education? | EdSurge News

It’s common these days to hear that free online mega-courses, called MOOCs, failed to deliver on their promise of educating the masses. But one outcome of that push towards open online courses was plenty of high-quality teaching material.

Now, one of the first professors to try out MOOCs says he has a way to reuse bits and pieces of the courses created during that craze in a way that might deliver on the initial promise.

The idea comes from Robert Lue, a biology professor at Harvard University who was the founding faculty director of HarvardX, the college’s effort to build MOOCs. He’s leading a new platform called LabXChange that aims to let professors, teachers or anyone mix together their own free online course from pieces of other courses….”

Much Ado About MOOCs: Where Are We in the Evolution of Online Courses? | EdSurge News

A lot has changed since 2012 or, the year the New York Times dubbed the “Year of the MOOC.” The premise back then was that classes would make high-quality online education accessible for all—and for free. Today, many MOOC providers now charge a fee. They’ve rolled out bundles of courses called ‘Specializations’ or ‘Nanodegrees.’ And popular providers like Coursera and edX are increasingly partnering with colleges and universities to offer MOOC-based degrees online.

So, seven years after the “Year of the MOOC,” we’re wondering: Where are these courses and companies today? And how are universities responding?…

Last year, the number of learners who had taken at least one MOOC crossed 100 million, but the number of learners added was just 20 million, which was less than 23 million for the last two years. So the rate at which new users are coming into the MOOC space is decreasing.

The number of courses has been growing steadily at the same rate now. We have more than 11,000 courses from 900 universities. As for the MOOC providers, Coursera is the biggest one—with the most revenue and the most number of users, and also the most number of employees. Udacity ended 2017 with 500 employees, but they had layoffs, and ended 2018 with 330 employees….”

Interview with Jon Tennant on Open Science MOOC | Eurodoc

“The Open Science MOOC, which stands for massively open online community, is a project based around people. It is a peer-to-peer community of practice, based around sharing of knowledge and ideas, learning new skills, and using these things to develop as individuals, so that research communities can grow as part of a wider cultural shift towards openness.

We are a mission-driven project to help set the default to ‘open’ for all global research, and driven almost purely by volunteers. Anyone can contribute, and anyone can participate….”

Article in Journal ‘Science’ Argues MOOC Participation is Declining as Providers Pivot | EdSurge News

What lessons can be learned from the rise and pivot of MOOCs, those large-scale online courses that proponents said would disrupt higher education?

An article this week in the prestigious journal ‘Science’ explores that question, digging into six years of data from MOOCs offered by Harvard University and MIT on the edX platform launched by the two universities….

MOOCs have not disrupted higher education….”

The MOOC pivot | Science

Summary: When massive open online courses (MOOCs) first captured global attention in 2012, advocates imagined a disruptive transformation in postsecondary education. Video lectures from the world’s best professors could be broadcast to the farthest reaches of the networked world, and students could demonstrate proficiency using innovative computer-graded assessments, even in places with limited access to traditional education. But after promising a reordering of higher education, we see the field instead coalescing around a different, much older business model: helping universities outsource their online master’s degrees for professionals (1). To better understand the reasons for this shift, we highlight three patterns emerging from data on MOOCs provided by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) via the edX platform: The vast majority of MOOC learners never return after their first year, the growth in MOOC participation has been concentrated almost entirely in the world’s most affluent countries, and the bane of MOOCs—low completion rates (2)—has not improved over 6 years.