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ANC Workshop Srecko Joksimovic (ILCC) Chair Jari Fowkes

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Factors shaping learners' interactions in networked learning context

  • ANC Workshop Talk
When May 19, 2015
from 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Where Room IF 4.31/4.33
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Abstract: There is an emerging trend in higher education for the adoption of massive open online courses (MOOCs). However, despite this interest in learning at scale, there has been limited work investigating the impact MOOCs can play on student learning. In our most current studies, we adopted a novel approach, using language and discourse as a tool to explore its association with two established measures of learning: traditional academic performance and social centrality. We demonstrate how characteristics of language diagnostically reveal the performance and social position of learners as they interact in a MOOC. We use Coh-Metrix, a theoretically grounded, computational linguistic modelling tool, to explore students' forum postings, as well as interactions distributed via Twitter, blogs and Facebook, across five potent discourse dimensions. Using a Social Network Analysis (SNA) methodology, we determine learners' social centrality. Linear mixed-effect modelling is used for all other analyses to control for individual learner and text characteristics. The results indicate that learners performed significantly better when they engaged in more expository style discourse, with surface and deep level cohesive integration, abstract language, and simple syntactic structures. However, measures of social centrality revealed a different picture.