Coursera, EdX started with a massive promise of bringing quality education to everyone on the planet. It was a giant step forward for education, overall.
However, much has been already said about their high drop out rates, how hard it has been to maintain engagement throughout the program. Industry reports and instructional designers alike typically report that only between 5 to 15 percent of students who start free open online courses end up earning a certificate.
I have a simple solution to this disengagement problem - Watch MOOCs in groups!
Sharing a thought experiment, let’s call it Inverse MOOC. It will need more fleshing out - but here is a broad outline.
When Learners begin a MOOC program -
They start as a cohort.
Every week there could be 3-4 timeslots when learners get together to watch the recorded videos.
TAs from these MOOCs are present in each session.
The MOOC platform enables the learners to initiate discussions on live chat when problems/questions arise.
30-45 mins of discussions can be held post the session viewing.
Enable team formation, team workspaces, and assignment galleries.
Local communities can be formed and learners can meet physically as well.
Watching MOOCs in groups can build in the engagement and eventually improve the outcomes! It could be designed as an intimate two-way learning experience, where learners feel connected and interactions among them are enabled.
What say Coursera? Time to Inverse the MOOC?