Small interventions, big effects: Closing the MOOC achievement gap2017-02-03,
[출처] MIT News_News_2017. 1. 31.

Small interventions, big effects: Closing the MOOC achievement gap

Techniques that develop a sense of belonging help to improve global MOOC persistence and completion rates.

Between 2012 and 2015, more than 25 million people enrolled in massive open online courses (MOOCs), including 39 percent from developing countries. While this democratization of educational opportunities is certainly worth celebrating, a team of researchers from MIT and Stanford University recently discovered that the benefits of MOOCs are not spread equitably across global regions.

“The central problem we have in our educational systems is inequality. There are many great learning opportunities out there, they just aren’t equitably distributed,” explains study coauthor Justin Reich, who is the executive director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab and a research scientist within the MIT Office of Digital Learning.

In “Closing the Global Achievement Gaps in MOOCs,” published Jan. 20 in Science, the team defines social identity threat as a feeling of unwelcome, or a fear of being stereotyped as less capable because of one’s group. These cognitive burdens can impair working memory, learning and performance.


As leader of the research at MIT, Reich believes the experiments can help further refine educational interventions at the Institute — both for MOOCs and more traditional classes — and create new, powerful applications for “nudges” moving forward.

Says Reich: “We’re here to help every student come to class with a frame of mind that leads to success. That’s what it’s all about.”

By Office of Digital Learning of MIT

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