Modeling Large Scale Social Interaction in Massively Open Online Courses Workshop (EMNLP 2014)

Official EMNLP Workshop CFP page

An emerging area for real world impact of technology for analysis of social media at a large scale is online education in Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The goal of this workshop is to explore what the language technologies community has to offer this endeavor. At this one day workshop organized around a shared task related to analysis of large scale social interaction in MOOCs, we will grapple with the competing images of the inner workings of large scale learning communities provided by alternative computational approaches. Keynote talks and presentation of research papers, posters, and demos will round out the day with results from state-of-the-art work. MOOCs are especially interesting as a source of large scale social data. The unique developmental history of MOOCs creates challenges that require insight into the inner-workings of massive scale social interaction in order to meet. In particular, rather than evolving gradually as better understood forms of online communities, once MOOCs are launched, they spring up overnight and then expand in waves as new cohorts of students arrive from week to week to begin the course. As massive communities of strangers that lack shared practices that would enable them to form supportive bonds of interaction, these communities grow in an unruly manner. While some students may successfully find birds of a feather with whom to bond and find support, when others come they may find an overwhelming amount of communication having already been posted that they feel lost in. Others may find themselves somewhere in between these two extremes. They may begin to form weak bonds with some other students when they join, however, massive attrition may create challenges as members who have begun to form bonds with fellow students soon find their virtual cohort dwindling. Early attempts to organize the community into smaller study groups may be thwarted by such periodic growth spurts paired with attrition, as groups that initially had an appropriate critical mass soon fall below that level and then are unable to support the needs of remaining students. Can our models serve as useful lenses to offer insights into these social processes? New paradigms in computational modeling may be able to overcome those shortcomings if the issues.

Use the following form to request the MOOC datasets

Data Preprocessing

IMPORTANT!!!!! You can find the instructions for preparing and submitting your solution in this important file.

Christopher Brooks from the University of Michigan has offered some scripts for parsing Coursera json clickstream files. Thanks Chris!!

Recent Conferences:
  1. Learning Analytics and Knowledge, March 24-28, 2014
  2. ACM: Learning@Scale , March 4-5, 2014
  3. NIPS Workshop on Data Driven Education, December 10, 2013