Source Effects in Online Education

Work In Progress Session, ACM Conference on Learning at Scale (L@S WiP 2015) Vancouver, Canada |

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While most MOOCs rely on world-famous experts to teach the masses, in many circumstances students may learn more from people who share their context such as local teachers or peers. Here, we describe an experiment to explore how the “source” of video content, the teacher, affects online learning, specifically in the context of higher education in Indian colleges. The proposed experiment will compare three content sources – a local lecturer (teacher from an Indian engineering college), a local peer (both male and female students similar to the targeted audience), and an internationally recognized expert (a Stanford lecturer). Students will watch videos by the various source authors, after which we will measure differences in their preference, engagement, and learning. In addition, we discuss our experiences with helping students prepare video lectures and describe the support and processes we used to curate interesting and clear peer-generated content.