MOOC Learning in Spontaneous Study Groups: Does Synchronously Watching Videos Make a Difference?
Study groups are common approaches for students to study together at schools. However, little is known about how this approach is suited to MOOC based learning, where learners watch and discuss MOOC lecture videos in a collaborative manner. Watching MOOCs with peers creates learning experiences that blend the way students learn in classroom with learning through a computer: Students get a chance to “pause” the professor as well as to discuss with other learners. In this paper, we explore this type of MOOC-based learning. Findings from our longitudinal study on spontaneous collocated MOOC study groups suggest that groups tend to stick to a certain kind of study style. A strong positive relationship was found between how often students pause and replay the videos and the synchronicity among groups. Further, synchronous groups tended to perceive better group learning experience, in terms of self-assessed quality and mutual participation. Future MOOC designers as well as schools that offer courses in a flipped classroom format can use the insights to provide guided support for group learners of MOOCs.