Engagement and Progression in Open Online 'Micro Lessons': An Analysis of Learners’ Log Data from an Online Learning Platform

9 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2021

See all articles by Fatema Akbar

Fatema Akbar

University of California, Irvine

Taha Yasseri

University College Dublin (UCD) - Department of Sociology; University of Oxford

Date Written: June 26, 2021


With the rise of different forms of online learning platforms and the new ways that people learn in these platforms, new methods of conceptualizing and measuring learning engagement and progression are needed. The availability of large and detailed data about learners’ actions online can provide insight into different aspects of the learning trajectory. This paper (1) highlights micro-lessons as a type of open online learning that is different from other online platforms in its pedagogical approach and affordances, (2) characterizes user interactions with learning resources on a prominent micro-lesson provider, Khan Academy, and (3) constructs and analyzes measures of learning progression based on the theoretical concepts of learners' grit and growth mindsets using log data of over 300,000 users of micro-lessons. The findings indicate that micro-lessons are most used for just-in-time learning (indicated by single-visits to the platform), rather than attempting to get a more holistic educational experience. Learners' performance in terms of time taken and the number of attempts to get to a correct answer in practice exercises indicated learning progress over time. This work lays the groundwork for future research to understand how micro-lessons can cater to different learner motivations and how learners' interactions with micro-lessons fit with their broader learning experience and goals. Future research can also extend this study’s measures of learning progression in other online platforms that do not offer formal assessments.

Keywords: Growth Mindset, Learning Analytics, Log Data, Micro-lessons, Online Learning, Open Educational Resources, Web Analytics

Suggested Citation

Akbar, Fatema and Yasseri, Taha, Engagement and Progression in Open Online 'Micro Lessons': An Analysis of Learners’ Log Data from an Online Learning Platform (June 26, 2021). Proceedings of the AUBH E-Learning Conference 2021: Innovative Learning & Teaching - Lessons from COVID-19, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3874415

Fatema Akbar (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Donald Bren Hall
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA California 92868-3217
United States

Taha Yasseri

University College Dublin (UCD) - Department of Sociology ( email )

Dublin 4

University of Oxford ( email )

1 St Giles'
University of Oxford
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

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