Evaluating MOOC Learning — Experiences from our Recommender Systems Course

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Last fall Michael Ekstrand and I co-taught An Introduction to Recommender Systems on Coursera (if you search for the course, you can find the lectures open as part of the course preview).  In offering the course we had three goals:
  • to make a high-quality introductory recommender systems course available to the world
  • to actually experience the MOOC-teaching process, including exploring how elements of the MOOC could be useful in on-campus teaching
  • to study the effectiveness of the MOOC in student learning
To accomplish these goals, we had extensive support from not only videographers and course support staff, but also from learning technology and evaluation experts.  Our first published result of this work is the paper:
Teaching recommender systems at large scale:  Evaluation and lessons learned from a hybrid MOOC (Proceedings of the first ACM Conference on Learning @ Scalehttp://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2556325.2566244.