Altogether Now! Mass and Small Group Collaboration in (Open) Online Courses: A Case Study

  • Sabrina C. EimlerEmail author
  • German Neubaum
  • Marc Mannsfeld
  • Nicole C. Krämer
Part of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Series book series (CULS, volume 16)


Massive open online courses (MOOCs) become more and more popular. These course formats are typically highly flexible and attract large groups of learners from heterogeneous backgrounds. So far research in this area concentrating on success factors for low dropout rates and high satisfaction on the side of the learners in MOOCs is scarce. In this chapter, we describe experiences of a large online course offered to students of two large German universities. Based on theory drawn from a social psychological perspective on the relevance of social interaction for learning, we describe the background, structure, and specific elements of the MOOC-like course. We outline evaluation results of both small group collaboration (in workshops) and mass interaction (via forum and wiki usage) as well as results of the general evaluation of the overall course concept. We argue that the specific mixture of small and large group interaction as well as teacher- and learner-generated content is especially promising with regard to satisfaction, learning outcomes, and course completion rates.


Collaboration Mass collaboration Massive open online courses Collaborative learning Learning in groups Wikis Online forums 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabrina C. Eimler
    • 1
    Email author
  • German Neubaum
    • 1
  • Marc Mannsfeld
    • 1
  • Nicole C. Krämer
    • 1
  1. 1.Social Psychology—Media and CommunicationUniversity of Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany

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