Leaves are falling, ICO Fall School is calling!

Looking outside the window red, yellow and brown trees are passing with 300 km/h. Flat landscapes are being alternated with somewhat more mountain like surroundings (disclaimer: if you’re Dutch, everything that’s not flat can be called a mountain). Around every corner and tunnel, hides a new décor: small villages, typical churches, vineyards and forests… We slowly make our way to the south of Germany…It’s a new Monday, just another day at the office for a PhD student in educational sciences. Because if leaves start falling, the ICO Fall School is calling!

From the 31st of October till the 4th the 12th ICO International Fall School (IFS) in Bad Schussenried, Germany, took place. This event is a conference and an international educational event for all PhD-candidates who do research in the domain of learning, instruction and education, and is held biannually. This week is all about learning from peers, following workshops in methodology or themes related to educational research, getting in touch with other PhDs as well as experts from the field and presenting the work you are currently involved in as a PhD student. We (Maartje Henderikx, Julia Kasch and Martine Schophuizen) represented the SOONER research project here, and talked about our current work during a joint poster session. To get an insight of what was presented, each of the posters is shortly described (click on the posters to view the pdf):


Maartje Henderikx: Refining success and dropout in MOOCs based on the Intention-Behaviour Gap

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-13-49-26The poster gives an overview of our proposed model for looking at success and dropout in MOOCs. Currently success measurement of MOOCs is certificate- and completion-centric and fails to take student intention into account. This results in high dropout rates of 90-95%. While this view of success has been critiqued by the research community, no suitable alternative has yet been developed. Our study addresses this gap and proposes a theoretically grounded model for measuring success and dropout in MOOCs. The reasoned action approach (RAA) by Fishbein & Ajzen (2010), which centers around the formation of an intention to achieve certain goals, serves as a theoretical framework for our model; in particular, the intention-behaviour gap. A new typology of MOOC-takers based on intention-behaviour patterns is proposed. In addition, a state diagram reflects the complexity and dynamics of this process. The model redefines success in MOOCs as all MOOC-takers who achieve (or more than achieve) their individually intended goals are considered successful. The model also provides insight into the dynamics of the intention-behaviour process on an individual level and therefor into possible reasons that can cause the intention-behaviour gap.


Julia Kasch: MOOC design analysis – Constructive alignment, interactions task complexity formative assessment & feedback

This PhD project fscreen-shot-2016-11-17-at-13-49-57ocuses on the educational scalability of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The goal of our first study is to get insights into scalable best-practices of MOOCs regarding four common design aspects (1) task complexity, (2) interaction, (3) formative assessment and feedback and (4) constructive alignment.

This poster gives a short overview of the theoretical background and first results of the instructional design analysis we are conducting. It is important to note that the shows results are preliminary and incomplete. The final results will be more in-depth and of qualitative nature.

The large numbers of students in MOOCs are a challenge for the course design. For instance, how should a course be designed in order to enable the teacher to provide hundreds or even thousands of students with personalized, elaborated feedback? How can MOOCs not only provide knowledge but also be a learning environment in which students can acquire and apply skills? If we know how and to what extent large numbers of students can receive support and feedback at high complex learning activities and assessment the scalability of MOOC design can be improved

To answer these questions, we first will investigate common practice of instructional design in MOOCs in order to filter out the scalable best practices. Our main (preliminary) findings so far showed that MOOCs mostly provide learning activities at low(er) complexity levels which focus on knowledge sharing and theoretical application of that knowledge. We also found that although MOOC students receive feedback, it is not elaborate enough to help them improve their performance.

After the data collection is completed we will have more insights into the potential of the educational scalability of MOOCs.

Martine Schophuizen: Challenges & opportunities for Open Online Education –  A group concept mapping study

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-13-50-38The poster represents the preliminary results of a group concept mapping study in which we aim to answer the question: What are the organizational challenges and opportunities of OOE for project leaders in Dutch HEI’s? With the technique of group concept mapping expert consensus among OOE project leaders (n=6) was identified and represented in 6 overarching themes: Collaboration & internationalisation, assessment, accessibility & transparency, online teaching, institutional organization and quality of education. The project leaders also rated the challenges and opportunities on two scales: importance and influence. Some outcomes considered most important were among those considered most difficult to influence by an institution. However, there are also outcomes that are important, and within the circle of influence of an institution. This implies that for some aspects regarding OOE, institutions can take steps in making OOE a sustainable educational practice. Identifying this is a first step in this process. Since the results of this study are based on a very small sample size, more data collection is needed in order to give accurate conclusions.

CC BY 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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