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What 6.9 Million Clicks Tell ­S About How to Fix Online Education


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LectureScape illustration

LectureScape uses interaction data to create a visual summarization of a video clip.

Credit: YouTube

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) have analyzed data from Harvard University and MIT's shared online learning platform to gain a richer understanding of what makes massively open online courses (MOOCs) succeed and fail. They examined data on the second-by-second viewing habits of about 100,000 learners over 6.9 million video sessions.

The researchers found online learners value several things in educational videos: brevity (videos of no more than six minutes); informality, with speakers seated behind a desk rather than standing at a podium; fast talkers, preferably in the range of 254 words per minute; lectures with built-in pauses so complex visuals can be absorbed and processed; and videos crafted specifically for the Web, rather than full-length lectures broken up into shorter videos. The CSAIL researchers used these and other insights to craft the LectureScape tool, which presents MOOC videos in a more intuitive, dynamic, and effective manner.

LectureScape features include a timeline of the video, searchable interactive transcripts, automatic word clouds and section summaries, and a way to highlight popular content. Juho Kim, one of the lead researchers on the team, says they hope to add other features such as Netflix-like video recommendations and links to other relevant videos.

From MIT News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2014 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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