Hi everyone! This is Qiaochu, now entering my second semester in M1. Though basically belonging to ITASIA program, I gradually get to feel the preciousness of being in Ylab. This belief is well confirmed after my first Haru Gashuku this month, where our seniors shared lots of research methodologies selflessly and I was also able to make more connection with everyone. The research fields in Ylab differ a lot, which gives possibility to more inspiration and I always received great advice after each presentation. For me, the last semester mainly processed in two lines: following the curriculum of ITASIA and initiating my own research in the meantime. The balance between and the optimization of efficiency have become the focus of my research life.
Having set the research question in MOOC & community, I gave three presentations last year ("Community Building for xMOOC in Post-MOOC Era", "Legitimacy and Case Study of Community Building for MOOCs" and "Online and Offline Community Building in MOOCs"). After that, one important adjustment I made to my research is widening the research subject when doing literature review, from xMOOC to online study (Thanks to advice from Prof.Yamauchi ). This change of research subject can be somewhat rare when the scope of research actually always expands inevitably as it develops and we just have to control it. However, in the case of MOOC study, first the merge of xMOOC and cMOOC is ever deepening in recent years. Moreover, MOOCs, being one form of online education, share lots of common points with it.
Another core problem concerns the feasibility of data collection, if necessary in later stages. As set in my RQ, the research would like to find out relevance between community building and the efficiency of MOOCs learning. But even in case study, samples of scale are required for the sake of rationality. This can be a huge challenge for me when this kind of data collection is always done by academic institutions. For example, during the process of literature review, I indeed found some perfect data like the "HarvardX-MITx Person-Course Academic Year 2013 De-Identified dataset, version 2.0", aggregated records representing one individual's activity in one edX course. And I tried to visualize the relationship between accomplishment of MOOC certificate & active events and major countries from the data (a brief version as shown below). However, such huge data can hardly be collected by individuals for research purpose. And there are always lots of factors influencing learning motivation & efficiency. I doubt if I can really come up with persuasive data analysis with limited sample. So for this stage I decided to follow the advice of doing typology of MOOC study.
Along the research till now, I shall really thanks the all help I got from people around. Just as Sugiyama-san stated in his sharing during Haru Gashuku, research can never be done by one's own effort. I indeed got much more help than expected in and outside Ylab. Not to mention Takahama-san's prompt guidance before every presentation and all the seniors share with me their precious suggestions and research experiences. Rebecca also provides me with the opportunity of observing the procession of their learners' online community, one belonging to a MOOC course on Coursera she's helping with. Now right on the new starting line, I hope to organize myself and life around better. To find insufficiency from what have been done as well as challenge all the possible stereotypes.
【M1 Zhou Qiaochu】