Even as massive open online courses (MOOCs) continue to assume an increasingly prominent role in higher education, the majority of enrolled students fail to participate in online forums meant to reproduce a classroom environment, according to University researchers, Stanford Daily reports. Having examined forum usage data from 23 Stanford MOOCs offered from early 2012 to early 2013, researchers from the Office of the Vice Provost for Online Learning (VPOL) found a positive correlation between forum participation and student scores, even as fewer than 10 percent of all students enrolled – which for some classes can total in the thousands — posted to the forums at all. “One of the great things about these MOOCs is the diversity,” said Marc Sanders Ph.D. ’94, a VPOL instructional designer and one of the researchers. “You can think of having 30,000 people or 100,000 people in your class as being kind of overwhelming.”

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About the Author:

Jake New

Jake New studied journalism at Indiana University, where he was editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, the Indiana Daily Student. At the IDS, Jake covered the IU administration, minority student issues, and state education policy. After a brief stint at the Bloomington Herald-Times covering IU, crime, and local politics, Jake interned at the Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington D.C, writing about online learning, open-access policies, academic publishing, and ed-tech startups. Jake joined eCampus News as an assistant editor in May 2013, where he continues to cover technology and higher education. His days often begin with a cup of coffee and the sinking feeling that another MOOC story is just around the corner. Follow Jake via Twitter: @eSN_Jake