The availability of large-scale online courses enabled assessment of academic performances at scale. Equally important is the opportunity to investigate the state of non-cognitive or soft skills of online learners to inform design of interventions to improve learning outcomes. The present analysis looked at learners who successfully passed the course, passing either on a first attempt or after one or more failed attempts, and compared how their soft skills differ from the rest of learners.
The findings suggested that learners who successfully passed the course tend to have strong skill sets related to time and project management and learners who successfully passed the course after failed attempts tend to have higher skill sets related to decision making and leadership.
Elle Yuan Wang is a Research Scientist at ASU EdPlus Action Lab. Her current projects center on assessing social and emotional leaning skill-sets and predicting learner longitudinal career development in large-scale online learning environments. Specifically, her projects take a comprehensive approach by linking three sources of learner data: pre-course learner motivation, within-course learner engagement, as well as post-course development. Measurement of post-course development reflects both individual learner career development as well as advancement of communities of practice.
Tom Fikes is Director of Research at ASU’s EdPlus Action lab, a dedicated laboratory for the study of digital teaching and learning. Tom received his PhD at UC Santa Barbara and was postdoctoral at Indiana University studying cognitive science, with specializations in psychophysics and mathematical modeling. He was professor of psychology and neuroscience at University of Puget Sound and Westmont College, serving in teaching, research and administrative capacities, for several years before joining the Action Lab in 2016. His academic interests include experimental, statistical, and modeling methods in general and in application to educational data in the digital domain in particular, as well as experimental economic games and the evolution of cooperation.