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Learning is not a spectator sport: doing is better than watching for learning from a MOOC
Koedinger K., Kim J., Jia J., McLaughlin E., Bier N.  [email protected] 2015 (Proceedings of the 2nd ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale, Vancouver, BC, Canada,  Mar 14-18, 2015) 111-120. 2015. Type: Proceedings
Date Reviewed: Jan 6 2016

This paper explores the question of whether students learn better by doing activities or by just passively watching videos of lectures.

The authors are part of the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon, which “focus[es] on rich and interactive learn-by-doing activities,” as compared to the “video-based lectures and ... discussion forums” of other massive open online course (MOOC) programs.

In eight pages of detailed statistical analysis, the authors examine the results of one online course (12 weeks; 27,720 students started the course; 1,154 completed). They discover--no great surprise--that active participation leads to better results.

This paper may be of some interest to readers interested in the particular statistics or in the methodologies used. However, I cannot recommend it as relevant to any wider audience.

Reviewer:  David Goldfarb Review #: CR144083 (1605-0359)
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