Socializing on MOOCs: Comparing University and Self-enrolled Students

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11475)


MOOCs are becoming more and more integrated in the higher education landscape of learning, with many institutions now pushing their students towards MOOC as part of their curriculum. But what does it mean for other MOOC learners? Are these students socializing the same way when they have an easier possibility to interact with classmates offline? Is the fact that they do not personally choose to enroll in a MOOC also having an effect? In this paper, we compare university-enrolled students to other MOOC participants and in particular other self-enrolled students, to examine how and why they socialize on and around the MOOC. Using data from two French MOOCs in project management, we show that university-enrolled students are less attracted by forums and seem to interact less than others when the workload increases, which could lead to misleading conclusions when analyzing data. We therefore encourage MOOC researchers to be particularly mindful of this new trend when performing social network analyses.


MOOC Social interaction Interaction motivation Students Enrollment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Informatique de Paris 6, LIP6ParisFrance
  2. 2.Centrale Lille, PRES Université Lille Nord de FranceVilleneuve d’AscqFrance

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