What do cMOOC participants talk about in Social Media? a topic analysis of discourse in a cMOOC

Srećko Joksimović, Amal Zouaq, Vitomir Kovanović, Dragan Gašević, Jelena Jovanović, Marek Hatala

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Creating meaning from a wide variety of available information and being able to choose what to learn are highly relevant skills for learning in a connectivist setting. In this work, various approaches have been utilized to gain insights into learning processes occurring within a network of learners and understand the factors that shape learners' interests and the topics to which learners devote a significant attention. This study combines different methods to develop a scalable analytic approach for a comprehensive analysis of learners' discourse in a connectivist massive open online course (cMOOC). By linking techniques for semantic annotation and graph analysis with a qualitative analysis of learner-generated discourse, we examined how social media platforms (blogs, Twitter, and Facebook) and course recommendations influence content creation and topics discussed within a cMOOC. Our findings indicate that learners tend to focus on several prominent topics that emerge very quickly in the course. They maintain that focus, with some exceptions, throughout the course, regardless of readings suggested by the instructor. Moreover, the topics discussed across different social media differ, which can likely be attributed to the affordances of different media. Finally, our results indicate a relatively low level of cohesion in the topics discussed which might be an indicator of a diversity of the conceptual coverage discussed by the course participants.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLAK 2015
Subtitle of host publicationFifth International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge 21—20 March 2015, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA
EditorsPaulo Blikstein, Agathe Merceron, George Siemens
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450334174
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2015: Scaling Up: Big Data to Big Impact - Marist College, Poughkeepsie, United States of America
Duration: 16 Mar 201520 Mar 2015
Conference number: 5th
https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/2723576 (Conference proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleLAK 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • Connectivism
  • Content analysis
  • SNA

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