Pop Culture: Would You Like Some Education With That?

Pop Culture: Would You Like Some Education With That?

Some MOOC-based educators, eager to hold their student’s attention as news unfolds about completion rates sinking to as low as 4 percent, have begun moderating class formats and lesson plans to find ways to engage students.

And it doesn’t just include having celebrity instructors or opening up in-person learning centers.

Pop Culture Connection
Education company Instructure, which has partnered with faculty at the University of California-Irvine, has launched new MOOC courses that relate education back to popular TV shows and movies, such as The Walking Dead, an AMC show about a zombie apocalypse.

“Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead,” dovetailed clips from the TV show with course lessons on the spread of infectious diseases and social order and structure, according to USA Today.

Bite-Sized Learning
The class also packaged the clips into smaller pieces in order to make it more manageable for students to keep up.

“We enabled people to view pieces even if they had only a small amount of time, since a MOOC can be daunting if you’ve never done it before,” Melissa Loble, one of the course’s architects, told USA Today.

And according to an Instructure survey, out of the 65,000 students enrolled, four out of five students spent at least an hour on the course each week, an improvement in student engagement from week-to-week among MOOC participants.

That alone seems to show an increase in student motivation, an issue educators continue to look at in a number of ways.

Do you think more ties to pop culture will hold student’s attention? Or will it dumb down important academic topics? Share your thoughts. 

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