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Visual Analysis of MOOC Forums with iForum

Authors Fu, Siwei HKUST affiliated (currently or previously)
Zhao, Jian
Cui, Weiwei
Qu, Huamin View this author's profile
Issue Date 2017
Source IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics , v. 23, (1), January 2017, article number 7534878, p. 201-210
Summary Discussion forums of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) provide great opportunities for students to interact with instructional staff as well as other students. Exploration of MOOC forum data can offer valuable insights for these staff to enhance the course and prepare the next release. However, it is challenging due to the large, complicated, and heterogeneous nature of relevant datasets, which contain multiple dynamically interacting objects such as users, posts, and threads, each one including multiple attributes. In this paper, we present a design study for developing an interactive visual analytics system, called iForum, that allows for effectively discovering and understanding temporal patterns in MOOC forums. The design study was conducted with three domain experts in an iterative manner over one year, including a MOOC instructor and two official teaching assistants. iForum offers a set of novel visualization designs for presenting the three interleaving aspects of MOOC forums (i.e., posts, users, and threads) at three different scales. To demonstrate the effectiveness and usefulness of iForum, we describe a case study involving field experts, in which they use iForum to investigate real MOOC forum data for a course on Java programming. © 2016 IEEE.
ISSN 1077-2626
Language English
Format Article
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