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Data Mining and Learning Analytics by Osmar R. Zaïane, Donald Ipperciel, Samira ElAtia

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CHAPTER 8EXAMINING THE LEARNING NETWORKS OF A MOOC

Meaghan Brugha and Jean‐Paul Restoule

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Massive open online courses, better known and hereby referred to as MOOCs, are in a unique position for educational research because of their wide range of participants, the differences in those participants’ demographics, yet their instantaneous formation of a global community through learning networks. Traditionally marginalized learners of higher education now have the opportunity to access courses taught by internationally highly ranked institutions, taken with peers across different cultures and countries. Their knowledge networks and contributions to one another’s learning experiences are rich with positive learning opportunities unique to online educational directives. Effective research of these networks may put MOOC curators in a better position to cultivate these networks as effective learning opportunities for those often marginalized from quality higher education.

A MOOC is typically offered by higher education institutions in partnership with an established online platform such as Coursera, edX, or Udacity. There are thousands of students in a single course, all of whom have a part in teaching each other and grading one another’s work. Because of these attributes, Baggaley (2013) argues, “judging by the MOOC’s rapid international adoption, it is the most easily implemented form of education ...

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