Michael Ekstrand

Introduction to Recommender Systems MOOC

Joseph A. Konstan and I created (based on an initial plan by Joe and John Riedl) the Introduction to Recommender Systems MOOC on Coursera. We originally offered it as a one-time 14-week course in the fall of 2013; due to the demand for a repeat offering, we have made a version of it available in a self-paced, on-demand format since January 2015.

The original course had both a concepts track and a programming track. The current course only contains the concepts track, due to platform limitations; we are working on plans to bring back the programming component.

We also took the opportunity to study the effectiveness of MOOCs as an educational tool, resulting in a paper at the ACM Conference on Learning at Scale that we later expanded for Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. Through a pre- and post-course knowledge inventory, we showed that MOOC students do learn; the papers contain details on that and several other findings.