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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Google Working on Better MOOCs

Google is trying to find ways to lower the dropout rates for online courses and improve the perception of massive open online courses (MOOCs) by sponsoring a Carnegie Mellon University project designed to provide feedback on student work, create social ties between learners, and design more effective MOOCs.

“I think we need to enable MOOCs to be more immersive, adaptive, and social,” Alfred Spector, vice president for research and special initiatives for Google, said in an article in VentureBeat.

The project is trying to personalize the MOOC experience through data-driven evaluations monitored by teachers and targeting the parts of the course students have mastered. Researchers are also trying to find ways to reduce dropout rates with data that identify students at risk. The final part of the project is to make more interactive and engaging course materials available to students.

“Ninety percent of people that sign up for MOOCs never finish the course,” said Robert Kraut, a professor at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at CMU. “We’re trying to build an intervention in order to keep the engagements up.”

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