The rise of ‘SuperPosters’ in MOOCs

SuperPosters scored high in MOOCs.

Participation has been an issue for massive open online course (MOOC) platforms as they face criticism from many corners of higher education, though there is one kind of MOOC participant that can serve as an example of an engaged student: the “SuperPoster.”

It’s these highly-involved MOOC students who post most frequently to MOOC forums, sometimes accounting for up to one-fourth of total comments submitted to those forums during the online course, according to new research released by Stanford University.

A review of 23 MOOCs that spanned from early 2012 to early 2013 showed that forum participation — meant to answer lingering questions after lectures and before exams — lagged in many classes. There were, however, the “SuperPosters,” who not only filled the forums with questions and answers, but achieved consistently high grades in each MOOC.

Many “SuperPosters” scored close to 100 percent in their MOOCs.

A MOOC “SuperPoster” is defined as a student who posted 50 or more times in a class forum.

These active MOOC students accounted for a wide range of total forum comments — from 1.3 percent of the total to 24.2 percent, according to the university’s report, which excluded MOOC teacher assistants from the group that posted most frequently.

See Page 2 for the overall percentage of MOOC forum users…