Exploring the Problems Experienced by Learners in a MOOC Implementing Active Learning Pedagogies

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Topali P., Ortega-Arranz A., Er E., Martinez-Mones A., Villagra-Sobrino S. L., Dimitriadis Y.

6th European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit (EMOOCs), Naples, Italy, 20 - 22 May 2019, vol.11475, pp.81-90 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 11475
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/978-3-030-19875-6_10
  • City: Naples
  • Country: Italy
  • Page Numbers: pp.81-90
  • Keywords: MOOC, Learners' problems, Active learning, Gamification, Collaboration
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


Although Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been reported as an effective educational tool offering numerous opportunities in online learning, the high dropout rates and the lack of learners' motivation are factors concerning researchers and instructors. The one-size-fits-all instructional approach that most courses follow, failing to address the individual needs of learners, has been seen as their weakest point. Recent efforts focus on the inclusion of active learning pedagogies in MOOCs to stimulate the interaction among the participants and to keep them engaged. However, taking into account that in these massive contexts the learners face several issues while trying to keep up with the course, the incorporation of active learning strategies may introduce additional problems to the learning process. This study explores the problems that learners experienced in a MOOC implementing collaboration and gamification strategies. As the results reveal, the introduction of collaborative learning activities can generate additional problems to learners and for that reason, a careful design and a proper scaffolding is needed in an early stage to overcome the problems that will occur. No significant problems were reported regarding the implementation of gamification elements.