The Half-Life of MOOC Knowledge: A Randomized Trial Evaluating the Testing Effect in MOOCs

Dan Davis, René F. Kizilcec, Claudia Hauff, Geert-Jan Houben

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Retrieval practice has been established in the learning sciences as one of the most effective strategies to facilitate robust learning in traditional classroom contexts. The cognitive theory underpinning the "testing effect" states that actively recalling information is more effective than passively revisiting materials for storing information in long-term memory. We document the design, deployment, and evaluation of an Adaptive Retrieval Practice System (ARPS) in a MOOC. This push-based system leverages the testing effect to promote learner engagement and achievement by intelligently delivering quiz questions from prior course units to learners throughout the course. We conducted an experiment in which learners were randomized to receive ARPS in a MOOC to track their performance and behavior compared to a control group. In contrast to prior literature, we find no significant effect of retrieval practice in this MOOC environment. In the treatment condition, passing learners engaged more with ARPS but exhibited similar levels of knowledge retention as non-passing learners.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLAK'18 Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages1-10
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6400-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventLAK 2018 : The 8th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 7 Mar 20189 Mar 2018

Conference

ConferenceLAK 2018
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CitySydney
Period7/03/189/03/18

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.

Keywords

  • Retrieval Practice
  • Testing Effect
  • Experiment
  • Knowledge Retention

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