EdTech/Learning Analytics Talk: Oleksandra Poquet

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 11:00am

Founders Room, 4310 North Quad

Communities and Engagement in MOOCs: The Role of Social Context


Research of formal education practices has repeatedly shown that peer interactions can enhance student learning. Interpersonal interactions can help develop better understanding, as well as impact learning indirectly influencing motivation and satisfaction through the sense of belonging and trust. When individuals engage in learning at scale (such as in Massive Open Online Courses), anonymity, volume of interactions and shifting boundaries of the cohort challenge whether effective social learning can be established. Further, it remains unclear how to evaluate social learning at scale since current knowledge about effective social practices is based on relatively small and bounded student cohorts studied in university settings.

In her talk, Oleksandra Poquet will present several empirical studies of Coursera and edX MOOCs directed towards understanding the quality of interpersonal communication in learner networks. She will demonstrate insights around social learning at scale gleaned through combining self-reported learner perceptions, network analysis of the forum participation, automated and qualitative text analysis, as well as sequence analysis of communication patterns. Oleksandra's research helps gain conceptual understanding of the social process of learning in MOOC forums, as well as offer proxies that indicate the quality of learner networks. The talk will also contrast the measures of social context in MOOCs with that of university courses, and highlight the growing tension between effective social learning and observable learning outcomes.

Speaker Bio 

Oleksandra (Sasha) Poquet is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for the Application of Learning Sciences and Educational Technology, National University of Singapore. In her research, Sasha combines learning analytics and the use of experiments to understand how educators can facilitate effective social interactions at the university-level, course-level, and task-level.