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Design patterns for promoting peer interaction in discussion forums in MOOCs

Liyanagunawardena, T. R., Kennedy, E. and Cuffe, P. (2015) Design patterns for promoting peer interaction in discussion forums in MOOCs. eLearning Papers, 42. 7. ISSN 1887-1542

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Design patterns are a way of sharing evidence-based solutions to educational design problems. The design patterns presented in this paper were produced through a series of workshops, which aimed to identify Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) design principles from workshop participants’ experiences of designing, teaching and learning on these courses. MOOCs present a challenge for the existing pedagogy of online learning, particularly as it relates to promoting peer interaction and discussion. MOOC cohort sizes, participation patterns and diversity of learners mean that discussions can remain superficial, become difficult to navigate, or never develop beyond isolated posts. In addition, MOOC platforms may not provide sufficient tools to support moderation. This paper draws on four case studies of designing and teaching on a range of MOOCs presenting seven design narratives relating to the experience in these MOOCs. Evidence presented in the narratives is abstracted in the form of three design patterns created through a collaborative process using techniques similar to those used in collective autoethnography. The patterns: “Special Interest Discussions”, “Celebrity Touch” and “Look and Engage”, draw together shared lessons and present possible solutions to the problem of creating, managing and facilitating meaningful discussion in MOOCs through the careful use of staged learning activities and facilitation strategies.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:40453


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