Thursday, 15 May 2014

#MOOC papers: challenges, learner self-determination & #pedagogy

In the free online, peer reviewed journal of Merlot, a nice set of articles was published in the March 2014 issue.

Research Papers
  • Challenges to Research in MOOCs by Helene Fournier, Rita Kop, and Guillaume Durand PDF1
  • Participants' Perceptions of Learning and Networking in Connectivist MOOCs  by Mohsen Saadatmand and Kristiina Kumpulainen PDF16

Case Study
MOOCs: Striking the Right Balance between Facilitation and Self-Determination written by Tita Beaven, Mirjam Hauck, Anna Comas-Quinn, Tim Lewis, and Beatriz de los Arcos PDF31

Position Papers
  • MOOC Pedagogy: Gleaning Good Practice from Existing MOOCs written by Maha Bali PDF44
  • Teacher Experiences and Academic Identity: The Missing Components of MOOC Pedagogy written by Jen Ross, Christine Sinclair, Jeremy Knox, Si├ón Bayne, and Hamish Macleod PDF

Focusing on two
Choosing two articles of particular interest to me, I focus on the article on participant's perception of learning in a MOOC written by Mohsen Saadatmand and Kristina Kumpulainen

Abstract: Massive open online courses (MOOCs) challenge the mainstream of higher education and provide global learning opportunities to a huge number of students so they can learn anytime and anywhere. The value and applicability of the MOOC model in the current era of higher education and the nature of learning in such an open online format need to be investigated. This study focused on participants' experiences and perceived value of participation in connectivist MOOCs (cMOOCs) in terms of dealing with an abundance of resources and tools, learning activities, and network engagement. The results suggest a high extent of technology deployment for learning and interactions by the participants in cMOOCs. Creating networks and developing professional connections through networking technologies are advantages of participating in cMOOCs. The study's findings contribute to a better understanding of the nature of learning and participation in MOOCs from the perspective of students, who are the main stakeholders of such new learning experiences.

The study showed that participants develop self-organization, self-motivation skills and increase their technological proficiency.

Another article of interest to me was one that looked at self-determined learning (which is closely related to self-regulation and self-directed learning). The article is called: "MOOCs: Striking the Right Balance between Facilitation and Self-Determination " and is written by people of the Open University in the UK: Tita Beaven, Mirjam Hauck, Anna Comas-Quinn, Tim Lewis, and Beatriz de los Arcos

Abstract: recent research suggests that a growing proportion of formal learning occurs outside formal educational settings, where information and learning opportunities are mediated by technology. The rise of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in the last few years bears witness to this phenomenon. This contribution considers whether MOOCs afford a collaborative environment in which participants can develop the necessary literacy skills to become successful self-directed learners and members of online communities. It also discusses the extent to which self-determination and participatory literacy might be relevant for success in different types of MOOCs. The paper draws on data from OT12, an 8-week MOOC on open translation tools and practices run in 2012 by the Department of Languages of The Open University in the United Kingdom. The authors conclude that to conceive of MOOCs as environments where individuals coalesce around a common endeavor is to raise a series of under-explored challenges. For organizers, the challenge lies in learning design and facilitation, and the extent to which their assumptions about the participants match the learners' capabilities. For learners, the challenge rests in self-determination and participatory literacy skills.