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Earliest Predictor of Dropout in MOOCs: A Longitudinal Study of FutureLearn Courses

Cristea, Alexandra I.; Alamri, Ahmed; Kayama, Mizue; Stewart, Craig; Alshehri, Mohammad; Shi, Lei


Mizue Kayama

Mohammad Alshehri

Lei Shi


B. Andersson

B. Johansson

S. Carlsson

C. Barry

M. Lang

H. Linger

C. Schneider


Whilst a high dropout rate is a well-known problem in MOOCs, few studies take a data-driven approach to understand the reasons of such a phenomenon, and to thus be in the position to recommend and design possible adaptive solutions to alleviate it. In this study, we are particularly interested in finding a novel early detection mechanism of potential dropout, and thus be able to intervene at an as early time as possible. Additionally, unlike previous studies, we explore a light-weight approach, based on as little data as possible – since different MOOCs store different data on their users – and thus strive to create a truly generalisable method. Therefore, we focus here specifically on the generally available registration date and its relation to the course start date, via a comprehensive, larger than average, longitudinal study of several runs of all MOOC courses at the University of Warwick between 2014-1017, on the less explored European FutureLearn platform. We identify specific periods where different interventions are necessary, and propose, based on statistically significant results, specific pseudo-rules for adaptive feedback.


Cristea, A. I., Alamri, A., Kayama, M., Stewart, C., Alshehri, M., & Shi, L. (2018). Earliest Predictor of Dropout in MOOCs: A Longitudinal Study of FutureLearn Courses. In B. Andersson, B. Johansson, S. Carlsson, C. Barry, M. Lang, H. Linger, & C. Schneider (Eds.), Designing Digitalization (ISD2018 Proceedings)

Conference Name 27th International Conference on Information Systems Development (ISD2018).
Conference Location Lund, Sweden
Start Date Aug 22, 2018
End Date Aug 24, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 2, 2018
Publication Date Aug 24, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 3, 2019
Publisher Association for Information Systems
Book Title Designing Digitalization (ISD2018 Proceedings).
Public URL
Publisher URL