I recently reviewed a great research paper from Educational Researcher about learning activities in MOOCs for New Learning Times. The authors present great observations about the incompatibility between traditional educational variables and the MOOCs learning context. I think it is worth an earlier preview here on the blog as we continue conceptualizing a new learning platform and novice learning experiences online:
Unlike conventional college course registrants who meet certain preconditions (admitted college students) and express informed commitment (e.g. tuition) at course registration, registrants of MOOCs come from various backgrounds with different reasons for course enrollment. They also have various levels of commitment for coursework. Thus, the common criticism of low course completion rate in MOOCs seems to miss the target. For instance, considering only those users who attempted at least one homework problem, posted at least once in the discussion forum, and clicked on at least one video, the completion rate with a certificate rises to 48% in a 2012 MIT MOOC.