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Comparisons of Student Responses to University Assessments Pre- and Post MOOC Platforms: A Future Learning Paradigm for Learning and Teaching

The advent of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s) has affected the way in which traditional learning in a classroom environment is perceived and how teaching is received. Students often supplement in-class learning with a range of rich media content from internet sources of which MOOC’s are one source. The use of MOOC’s in the learning process has, according to this study, also affected the way in which students respond to traditional assessments. The poster presents a possible correlation between the use of MOOC’s and the completion rates of and types of responses in higher education assessments at bachelor level. It presents the notion that MOOC’s have increased the breadth of assessment responses (such as viewpoints and opinions within the students response), but has reduced the depth of assessment responses (analysis levels, theoretical arguments). It also presents the view that MOOC’s have potentially increased assessment completion rates, due, to the perception, by students, of greater availability of easy-to-access material for referencing and construction of the assessment response.

This study presents a comparative, qualitative assessment of student responses to university assignments from 2008 to 2014 in the areas of response diversity, response depth and response correlation with industry practice. The main question posed by the analysis is whether

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s) and social media have changed the nature of student responses to assignments and whether the technological shift in learning has disrupted how students comprehend and articulate assignment contexts. It compares student responses and student questions raised at the time of the course leading up to assessments pre- and post-MOOC’s.
The study, which is qualitative, reports of greater diversity in student responses post MOOC’s, but not always to the benefit of the assignment at hand. The analysis also presents the notion that the depth of responses has decreased, but that its correlation to real-world practice has increased.

The findings of the analysis are that MOOC’s provide for greater affiliation with the practical elements of a course and can, combined with intellectually stimulating in-class case studies, broaden the scenario-planning skills for business degree students. The analysis provides recommendations to both learners and lecturers of business studies in the design of and response to assignments in a new era of learning.

Written by: Dr Mo Kader
Top Education Institute