Analysing successful massive open online courses using the community of inquiry model as perceived by students

A. Cohen, S. Holstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This research examines the characteristics that contributed to the success of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in the fields of software, sciences, and management using data mining and semantic analysis together with content analysis. A total of 3,460 reviews regarding 5 different MOOCs that received a 5/5 grade were extracted from the CourseTalk website and analysed according to the community of inquiry model. It was found that, as well as in academic online courses, the characteristics that contributed to MOOCs' success were distributed between all 3 presence elements according to the community of inquiry model: teaching (36%), social (23%), and cognitive (36%; and technological [5%]). This is contrary to the perception that MOOCs mostly contain teaching presence elements. The four leading characteristics were teacher, exercise, atmosphere, and workload. Cluster analysis resulted in 5 types of students with similar presence element preferences. This shows that successful MOOCs enable students with different preferences to consume content and activities according to their individual preferences. These findings could be the base of future research on the subject of adapting MOOC activities and content to students' varied preferences, as well as further understanding the characteristics that contribute to successful MOOCs or other fully online courses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-556
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Learning
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Keywords

  • MOOC
  • community of inquiry
  • distance learning
  • lifelong learning
  • online learning

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