Using learning analytics to explore help-seeking learner profiles in MOOCs

Linda Corrin, Paula G. De Barba, Aneesha Bakharia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

33 Citations (Scopus)


In online learning environments, learners are often required to be more autonomous in their approach to learning. In scaled online learning environments, like Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), there are differences in the ability of learners to access teachers and peers to get help with their study than in more traditional educational environments. This exploratory study examines the help-seeking behaviour of learners across several MOOCs with different audiences and designs. Learning analytics techniques (e.g., dimension reduction with t-sne and clustering with affinity propagation) were applied to identify clusters and determine profiles of learners on the basis of their help-seeking behaviours. Five helpseeking learner profiles were identified which provide an insight into how learners' help-seeking behaviour relates to performance. The development of a more in-depth understanding of how learners seek help in large online learning environments is important to inform the way support for learners can be incorporated into the design and facilitation of online courses delivered at scale.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLAK '17: Proceedings of the Seventh International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding, Informing and Improving Learning with Data
EditorsXavier Ochoa, Inge Molenaar, Shane Dawson
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450348706
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2017 - Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 13 Mar 201717 Mar 2017
Conference number: 7th


ConferenceInternational Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2017
Abbreviated titleLAK 2017
Internet address


  • Help-seeking
  • Learning analytics
  • Learning design
  • MOOCs

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