Progress Map is a tool that extends the University’s MOOC to provide students with an accurate representation of their current progress. It was conceived and designed by Dr Sandra Milligan from the Melbourne School of Graduate Education and developed collaboratively by Learning Environments and Eduardo Oliveira, a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Centre for the study of Higher Education. The tool was successfully trialed in the “Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills” MOOC in 2016, and will be extended and incorporated seamlessly into that MOOC in 2017. Use in other MOOCs and systems is being planned.
The progress map is organised into 5 strands, one for each module in the MOOC. For each strand, the learner is shown their progress measured against 5 levels of understanding, from simple awareness to a high-order competence. The learner’s current level is represented by the green bar, whilst the target level is in blue. Hovering the mouse above each part of the map will bring up contextual information.
Constructing the progress map initially involved analysing data obtained from that University’s MOOCs. This yeilded over 400 variables representing that data. A model that uses a subset of about 200 variables, was then identified as of high relevance to the project. The implementation of Progress Maps involved extracting data from the database at regular intervals, applying various analytics, transformations, coding techniques and validation checks to create records for each student. This was then piped through a set of algorithms and displayed on an interactive graphical dashboard that provides students with a visual representation of their progress.