Last week I ran the first MOOC Analytics workshop for the Future Learning Academic Network (FLAN), the research network around the OU’s FutureLearn MOOC platform. Participants from universities across the UK, plus remote participants from New Zealand and Australia, joined a very stimulating event, hosted at the state of the art Digital Humanities Hub, European Research Institute at Birmingham University.
MOOCs are an exciting platform for educational research, providing 24/7 large scale data collection of authentic learning activity. Universities running MOOCs need to develop the capacity to make sense of this data, but all universities with online learning platforms will need to get to grips with this increasingly.
Universities of Leeds and Reading described how they are analysing thei MOOC data, and FutureLearn partners, some of whose courses have yet to go live, were introduced by David Major (FutureLearn Learning Technologist) and OU researchers (KMi student Thomas Ullmann and myself) to the data that they will receive from their MOOCs, how they can rapidly process that in order to import it into open source analytics tools, and ways of framing their research questions in terms of FutureLearn data and nalytics tools. FLAN leads, Profs. Mike Sharples and Eileen Scanlon, chaired the closing session where partners discussed how FLAN could drive forward research and innovation.
The Future Learning Academic Network has a collaboration space where partners are working together on analytics of common interest.