Exploring Measures of Engagement in Open Online Work Based Learning

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  • Title: Exploring Measures of Engagement in Open Online Work Based Learning: Towards Better Measures of Success in Open Online Learning Methods, Massive or Otherwise
  • Author(s): Colin Gray
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Technologies in Learning
  • Keywords: Work-Based Learning, Online Learning, Student Engagement
  • Volume: 22
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2015
  • ISSN: 2327-0144 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2686 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0144/CGP/v22i03/49169
  • Citation: Gray, Colin. 2015. "Exploring Measures of Engagement in Open Online Work Based Learning: Towards Better Measures of Success in Open Online Learning Methods, Massive or Otherwise." The International Journal of Technologies in Learning 22 (3): 41-50. doi:10.18848/2327-0144/CGP/v22i03/49169.
  • Extent: 10 pages

Abstract

This paper details an investigation into methods for measuring engagement in open, online, work based learning (WBL). The aim of this research is to define a reliable measure of engagement which can be used to assess the success of WBL courses. This study was carried out within one WBL course, run with 6 cohorts of students. Learning analytics detailing student activity were collated and used to test the following measures of engagement: 1. Total volume of activity per day, 2. Total number of daily participants, 3. Categorising participants by total course activity. The results showed that measure 1 provided detailed trends, but was easily biased by the activity of a small number of participants. Measure 2 showed similar trends, but mitigated the bias present in method 1 and displayed a much lower margin for error. Measure 3 provided insight into engagement trends, but lacked detail and showed a large margin for error. It was found that measure 2 was the most reliable indicator of engagement, and thus of success on a course. This finding allows researchers to more reliably measure engagement in open, online WBL, and can inform similar research in the field of MOOCs.