Post-Course – Qualititative

There were five open-ended questions in the online survey. A thematic analysis of survey participants’ remarks identified six common themes and included:

  • Content (course content)
  • Assessment (assessment activities)
  • Interaction (between participants or between participants and instructor)
  • Instructional Design (method of course delivery)
  • Connectivity (Internet access to course)
  • mooKIT platform (perceptions of platform)

Each theme is accompanied with a summary of terms that support the theme. A selection of salient comments are also included.

Not all themes are represented under each question.

Was there a particular aspect of the course that you liked best? If so, what was it and why?

Content: The basics of MOOCs (history and utility), design of MOOCs, pedagogy (flipped classroom), and analytics were all valued.

“very necessary to have a theoretical foundation before moving to the practical content”


“focus on technical aspects and application were tremendously helpful”


“Flipped classroom,” “basics of MOOCs,” “architecture of MOOC” were stand out sessions

Assessment: Many learners found the assignment (to create a 300 second video about MOOCs) as highly enriching to encapsulate the knowledge acquired in the course

“The assignment was highly motivating”

“Video assignment was practical and relevant. Nice to see all the variety in submissions”

Interaction: With peers, there was value in sharing background information and discussing course topics. With instructors, there was value in receiving timely and pertinent answers to queries.

“Forums were very informative and educational”

“we were free to ask questions; received prompt answers, almost immediately”

“I liked the way answers were being given and discussed by the instructors”

“Prompt response from tutors bridged the distance and helped me tremendously”

“a good mix of instructors, uniformly good communicators”

“interactions with participants from other countries was a valuable learning opportunity”

Instructional Design: Learning by video lecture was popular. The length, content, and presenters received positive responses by many learners. Writtens scripts of dialogue added to the value learners placed on videos – for efficiency and language. Learners also acknowledged that the course objectives were matched by content and delivery.

“videos make concepts clear; the slides/pdfs are excellent learning materials”

“I liked that experts were featured from a developing continent – I could relate to them”

“I loved that there were lecturers from India to which I identify”

“Audio clarity [of videos] was excellent. Moreover, the content of the audio was given in text formal – really helpful.”

“Presentation of videos with slides, timelines, pdfs of lectures and short time spans were ideal”

mooKIT Platform: There were several comments positively acknowledging the merits of mooKIT. This ranged from its versatility of access, to its intuitive use.

“mooKIT was great to use, including on a smart phone”

“I could use this in educating low-literacy adults and farmers”

Evaluator Comments

Comments were varied and pointed to satisfaction with the video lectures (quality and sequencing), assignments, communication channels, instructor response (quality and response time), and mooKIT platform (user-friendly and portability).

There were several interesting comments in regards to interaction. For example, survey participants acknowledged the benefit or value of having instructors/guest speakers and other participants who were from the same, or similar national or ethnic backgrounds. Particular reference was made to individuals who represented a South Asian or African ethnicity. Featuring instructors who live, work or emanate from the emerging world may add context and legitimacy to the sustainable development premise of the MoM course, and to MOOCs in general that are more regionally oriented. Most MOOCs cater to a western audience, yet have a global enrolment. There has been critique of neo-colonial undertones to these MOOCs (Altbach, 2013), perhaps more as a call that MOOCs need not be the authority of western institutions. Further inquiry may be warranted into the merits of contextualizing MOOCs. Like the appeal to have certification – to the point that this is conditional on enrolment – it might be the case that better efforts to contextualize content, and to promote such contextualization, may serve to enhance or sustain enrolment in MOOCs such as those designed by COL and IIT-K. Clealry, further research is needed to inform such a proposition.

Was there a particular aspect of the course that you did NOT like? If so, what was it and why?

Content: Overlap, or repetitiveness of content, particularly in videos was a common aspect of the course that learners did not like. Further, there was a desire for more technological content focused on software and hardware usage. This ranged widely from server hosting to providing information on using a microphone or camera.


“Some of the lectures were repetitive and should have been avoided”

“There should have been less time explaining concepts and more time on instructional and technological design”

Assessment: Several learners wanted an earlier announcement about the assignment. Further, there was a desire for more variation and volume of assessment (formative and summative). The context of the assignment was limiting to some users for two reasons: lack of hardware (e.g., camera) and lack of technological expertise.

“The assignment schedule would have been useful to have in advance to budget time for the course”

“the course would have been better if there was a quiz or an assignment each week”

“Assessment through one assignment needs to be changed. Alternative assessments are needed to meet the learning level of all”

“the video assignment is not suitable for all – I did not have a camera or mic, so did not do it. A quiz would have been better”

“Teaching on technological content was lacking. I wasn’t able to do the assignment as I had limited technical knowledge.”


Connectivity: Learners noted problems with viewing videos, uploading their own video assignments, and lacking hardware to produce the video assignments.

“there were bandwidth limitations with downloading/watching videos”

“the video assignment was too big to upload”


“This course is mainly for those with high speed Internet connections.”


Interaction: There were many comments on the lack of relevance in the chat forums, or inability to readily find an important discussion thread.

“I wished to be notified in some way if someone responded to my comments”

“Chats were mostly hello types, not useful”

“I wanted discussions to be filtered and searchable”

“There could have been more one-on-one chat sessions with instructors”

“I could not participate in live chat sessions because of my location and schedule. More participation could have occurred if there were more live chat sessions”

“Enable email alerts for news or discussions – would prompt dormant people to participate”


Instructional design: Some videos were longer than the standard of ten minutes or less advocated by the instructors. Further, there were comments that lamented a lack of quality in the videos, or that greater interactivity was desired.

“Some videos were too long and did not follow the requirements laid down in the course for video length to be around 10 minutes (to not impact attention spans)”

“the quality/design of the course was uneven. Some of the lectures were very good, but some were much lower quality.”

“I found the lectures to be monotonous. Interactive lectures would have been more lively. On occasion I preferred the pdf files.”


mooKIT: A fair number of learners noted there were technological glitches with mooKIT. None, however, noted that this prevented them from completing the course.

“I could not access the platform reliably on a tablet”

“mooKIT does not open on Explorer regularly”

“It would be nice if the course started after the formal release of mooKIT”

Evaluator Comments

Critical feedback centred on the length of the videos, which some survey participants found to contradict the dictum of being eight minutes or less, as stated in one the course’s video lectures on MOOC design. There was also overlap of content among the instructors and lack of organization in terms of the threaded discussions and notification of the assignment. The absence of regular assessment was a common criticism, but remedied somewhat by the inclusion of the video assignment.

Such criticisms should not be surprising, particularly for a course being offered for the first time. Larger issues that often accompany online learning initiatives such as platform failure, lack of response from instructors, or irrelevant content were minimal, if not non-existent. Nevertheless, the aforementioned criticisms are valid, and should be considered in any refinements to the MoM course if and when it is offered in future.


Share This Book