A research project at Pennsylvania State University looked at how to improve the completion rate for people who undertake massive open online courses — a rate that currently stands at a dismal 10 percent. The study examined the impact of putting learners into study groups with different kinds of communication based on their stated preferences.
The results, "Exploring the communication preferences of MOOC learners and the value of preference-based groups: Is grouping enough?" were published in the March 4, 2016 edition of Educational Technology Research & Development. The work was sponsored by Penn State's Center for Online Innovation in Learning (COIL).