TLL's blog

Facilitating Education Research in the MOOC Space

By Jennifer DeBoer, Postdoctoral Associate for Education Research

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offer a plethora of data for instructors, researchers, administrators, and students to support teaching and learning in this new educational context. However, these overwhelming and complex data are not in traditional structures for educational researchers.

Una-May O’Reilly, Principal Research Scientist in CSAIL and leader of the ALFA group, presented her database, visualizer, and analysis structure to better facilitate research on MOOC data in one of OEIT’s xTalks.  One of the challenges and opportunities of MOOCs is that there are multiple platforms and providers. ALFA’s protocol would be “platform agnostic” and would support standardization of these diverse data structures so that researchers could query any of them in the same way.