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Durham University

Computer Science


Publication details for Professor Alexandra Cristea

Shi, L. & Cristea, A. I. (2018), Demographic Indicators Influencing Learning Activities in MOOCs: Learning Analytics of FutureLearn Courses, in Andersson, B. Johansson, B. Carlsson, S. Barry, C. Lang, M. Linger, H. & Schneider, C. eds, 27th International Conference on Information Systems Development (ISD2018). Lund, Association for Information Systems, 4.

Author(s) from Durham


Big data and analytics for educational information systems, despite having gained researchers’
attention, are still in their infancy and will take years to mature. Massive open online courses
(MOOCs), which record learner-computer interactions, bring unprecedented opportunities to
analyse learner activities at a very fine granularity, using very large datasets. To date, studies
have focused mainly on dropout and completion rates. This study explores learning activities
in MOOCs against their demographic indicators. In particular, pre-course survey data and
online learner interaction data collected from two MOOCs, delivered by the University of
Warwick, in 2015, 2016, and 2017, are used, to explore how learner demographic indicators
may influence learner activities. Recommendations for educational information system
development and instructional design, especially when a course attracts a diverse group of
learners, are provided.