Learning Groups for MOOCs: Lessons for Online Learning in Higher Education

TitleLearning Groups for MOOCs: Lessons for Online Learning in Higher Education
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMayende, G, Muyinda, PBirevu, Prinz, A, Isabwe, GMaurice No
Conference Namethe Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL), 2016 International Conference.
Date PublishedJan/2017
Keywordshigher education, MOOC, online learning, Online learning groups

When there is interaction within online learning groups, meaningful learning is achieved. Motivating and sustaining effective student interactions requires planning, coordination and implementation of curriculum, pedagogy and technology. For our aim to understand online learning group processes in order to identify effective online learning group mechanisms, comparative analysis was used on a massive open online course (MOOC) run in 2015 and 2016. Qualitative (interaction on the platform) and quantitative (survey) methods were used. The analysis revealed several possible ways to improve group processes. In particular, this paper concludes that course organization helped in increasing individual participation in the groups. Motivation by peers helped to increase sustainability of interaction in the learning groups. Applying these mechanisms in higher education can make online learning groups more effective.