Essays on User Engagement in Online Collaborative Communities
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In my dissertation, I study user engagement on online collaborative communities. I explore user interactions in two contexts, Crowdfunding (Collaborative funding) and Massive Open Online Courses (Collaborative learning) platforms. In the context of collaborative fundraising, using data from JD.com, China’s leading crowdfunding platform, I study entrepreneurial activities before and after the launch of crowdfunding campaigns and how these activities affect the likelihood of campaign success. Specifically, I study the effect of raising awareness prior to the launch of a campaign on the likelihood of a campaign meetings its goal. In the context of collaborative learning, I student engagement on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), an outcome of utmost interest to practitioners. Using a rich data set of daily student interactions over a period of forty months on Khan Academy, a pioneer MOOC platform in the K-12 space and text mining techniques, I study the effect of the display of empathy by students on the level of conversation on the platform and find that empathetic expression plays a crucial role in increasing student engagement on MOOCs.
- Business administration