Design of Open Content Social Learning based on the Activities of Learner and Similar Learners

Design of Open Content Social Learning based on the Activities of Learner and Similar Learners

Benneaser John (Department of Computer Applications, Karunya University, Coimbatore, India), J. Jayakumar (Karunya University, Coimbatore, India), V. Thavavel (Department of Computer Science, Prince Sultan Unviersity, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), Muthukumar Arumugam (PSG Institute of Technology and Applied Research, Coimbatore, India) and K. J. Poornaselvan (Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Government College of Technology Coimbatore, Coimbatore, India)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/IJDET.2017040105
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Abstract

Teaching and learning are increasingly taking advantage of the rapid growth in Internet resources, open content, mobile technologies and social media platforms. However, due to the generally unstructured nature and overwhelming quantity of learning content, effective learning remains challenging. In an effort to close this gap, the authors designed and built an Open Content Social Learning (OCSL) system that compares different pedagogical strategies and algorithms intended to improve learning. Their results have shown increased effectiveness when recommending learning activities in a pedagogically appropriate order based on learning goals, historical learning preferences, and behaviors from other learners who had similar goals.
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1. Introduction

Computer-aided instruction (CAI) has evolved from its humble origins to the level of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). And the Internet and the entire World Wide Web (WWW) constitute the largest and most comprehensive knowledge base in the history of the world. Learners are living through an information explosion (Chiou & Shih, 2015). Rai & Chunrao (2015) states that “In recent years, MOOCs have attracted millions of learners around the world, through various MOOC providers, such as edX, Coursera, and Udacity. MOOCs allow millions of learners to enroll in courses form reputed universities around the world, such as Harvard University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and University of California at Berkeley (UCB). Outside of MOOCs, professors are creating and releasing their own content using tools such as Slideshare and YouTube.” Every day, millions of learners make use of free, open online tools and resources (MacDonald, 2015) to create open learning content.

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching and learning materials that anyone can use and share freely, without charge. Since first being coined by UNESCO in 2002, the term Open Educational Resources has evolved to meet the fast pace of the change and the diverse contexts in which it has now been used (Bossu, Bull, & Brown, 2012). The worldwide OER movement is rooted in the idea of high quality education at no cost. The Cape Town Declaration (2007) states that “Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. They are also planting the seeds of a new pedagogy where educators and learners create, shape and evolve knowledge together, deepening their skills and understanding as they go.”

Open content learning resources such as MIT’s OpenCourseWare project (OCW), TED videos, Khan Academy, YouTube videos, and the MERLOT(Malloy & Hanley 2001; Hanley 2015) project are a few examples of systems through which millions of learners learn on the web every day. However, the research on MOOCs shows that although thousands of people may register for a course, the number of students who complete the course successfully is generally much lower. Recent literature shows that although millions of people may register for MOOCs, completion rates vary from 0.7% to 52.1%, with a median value of 12.6% (Jordan, 2015). At Harvard University, the completion rate for the MOOC course CS50 is slightly below 1%. In contrast, 703 out of 706 students (99.6%) “Completed” CS50 on campus, the same course offered by the same lecturer (Parr, 2013). This is due to the lack of focus, engagement, motivation, and individual attention in those MOOC courses (Banerjee & Duflo, 2014; Rai & Chunrao, 2016). It’s because of the lack of finding the right content, ability to collaborate with fellow learners, focus, and motivation. Hence, it is necessary both to provide the learners with appropriate information and knowledge resources and to make it easier for learners to engage, motivate, and collaborate with fellow learners.

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