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Interactive Learning Helps Students Learn Six Times More than MOOCs, Study Says

Interactive Learning Helps Students Learn Six Times More than MOOCs, Study Says

A study from Carnegie Mellon University has found that the central approach to learning behind MOOCs—Massive Open Online Courses—that includes watching and retaining information from instructional videos is not as effective as interactive learning approaches.

In fact, the study found that interactive activities are six times more likely to help students learn.

The interactive activities specifically studied were from CMU's Simon Initiative, which promotes learning by doing by including intelligent tutors that offer "adaptive feedback."

These kinds of courses are referred to as Open Learning Initiative (OLI) courses, and when compared to the counterpart of MOOCs, have proven to be the more effective of the two.

Researchers at CMU "set out to understand the difference between MOOCs and OLI courses, specifically whether OLI features help students learn more than MOOC lecture videos. They compared two uses of an Introduction to Psychology as a Science class: 18,645 students took it as a MOOC only, while 9,075 enrolled in it as a combined MOOC and OLI course. Eleven weekly quizzes and a final exam were given to all students," said the university in a statement.

OLI students greatly out-performed students just learning material through MOOCs; "[t]hey found that while more watching, reading and doing all predict better learning outcomes, the amount of learning associated with each activity done was six times greater than for each video watched or page read," the statement said.

In addition to higher test scores, the study also found that students in OLI courses versus MOOCs-only students were more likely to participate and less likely to drop out of the course.

Read more here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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