Supporting peer interactions in a MOOC: Utilizing social networking tools to personalize learning

ID: 51422 Type: Full Paper: Journal Publication
  1. Nathaniel Ostashewski and Jon Dron, Athabasca University, Canada
  2. Jennifer Howell, Curtin University, Australia

Wednesday, October 18 10:15-10:45 AM Location: Pavillion B

Presider: Kurt Ackermann, Hokusei Gakuen University Junior College, Japan

Abstract: This paper reports on the utilization of an online community networking platform designed to deliver a MOOC. A customized Elgg social software platform, implemented as the Curtin Learning Commons, was developed with social networking tools organized to support personalized learning. The MOOC, titled Participating in the Digital Age (PDA), engaged students in activities that used a variety of social media tools to access the educational content and experiences. The goals of the MOOC were to provide conceptual understandings and opportunities to participate in tasks exemplifying the topic. The study presents evidence that using these kinds of community software platforms to deliver a MOOC can provide higher education learners with personalized active learning opportunities. Further research on providing scaffolded support to enable learners to capitalize on additional aspects of networked learning such platforms would advance this use.

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