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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Bringing the Seminar to Scale: Enabling Engagement through Active Learning Online Stefan Esposito, Ph.D. Manager of Instructional Development, HarvardX Example 1: American Poetry: Walt Whitman Module, 13,755 enrolled learners on Engagement Objective: Assessment Strategy: What We Observed: Encourage collaborative close reading, akin to a small seminar discussion. Learners used the HarvardX Annotation Tool and self-assessed participation in a module on Walt Whitman. 12% of enrollees (1147 students) participated, generating 60,000 annotations on 16 passages from 14 poems. 1,250 average daily annotations from 90 average daily users (over a 7-week period, Jan-Feb 2014). Participating students averaged 50 annotations (max 714, min 30). 3,700 annotations per poem on average. Example 2: Visualizing Japan, 9,400 enrolled learners on Engagement Objective: Assessment Strategy: Encourage engagement with and critical analysis of images, including a firm grounding in historical context. Learners engaged with rich video where professors model analysis techniques. Learners used HarvardX Image Annotation Tool, gallery sort, word clouds, and drag and drop games to encourage engagement with historical images. What We Observed: 12.5% of learners who enrolled in the course received a certificate of completion, ~2x higher than HarvardX average. Over 30% of students who engaged with the course in the first week received certificates. Learners generated thousands of unique annotations for archival images. Users also reported enthusiastic satisfactionwith the use of high-quality images throughout the course materials. Is it possible to encourage critical analysis and productive reflection in massive open online humanities courses? Yes No Learner engagement in humanities courses are supported by creating exercises that encourage analysis and reflection. Online platforms offer opportunities for assessment grounded in active learning principles that go beyond even well-designed multiple choice assessments. Explanatio n Example of student annotation (notes) to a poem. Other students and faculty can view the annotations and comment. The annotation tool was developed by HarvardX for the edX platform. Examples of image annotation and word cloud use in the joint Harvardx & MITx course on visualizing Japan.
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