Three researchers at the University of Western Australia have conducted a review of empirical studies of the components of MOOC instruction – short videos, frequent quizzes, peer- and self-assessment, and online forums where students discuss course material. They argue that the common formats used in MOOCs (short videos alternated with short quizzes and assignments) are forms of “mastery learning” for which there is strong empirical evidence of efficacy. The nature of MOOCs to students control the pace, pause, rewind etc. the way in which computer scored multiple choice allow for retrieval learning support the argument that MOOCs may have a pedagogical foundation that is at least as firm and sound as that of regular on campus courses.
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