analysing tensions between cost-efficiency, effective pedagogy, and continuous innovative practice

The [un]democtratising potential of MOOCs

Our book, Reconceptualising Learning in the Digital Age: the [un]democtratising potential of MOOCs, is available from Springer, published in 2018 by Dr Nina Hood and me – see https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811088926  Our aim in writing this book was to offer a fresh perspective on Massive Open Online Courses(MOOCs)  and to draw parallels with development in open, online education generally.…

Pushing the boundaries of Higher Education

On October 3rd 2017 I presented a keynote at Pushing the Boundaries of Higher Education: challenging traditional models with innovative and creative practices  in Barcelona, Spain. Keynote presentations were given by several colleagues I know well, including Terry Anderson, Tony Bates,  Yishay Mor, Rikke Toft, Philipp Schmidt, Jim Groom, Brian Lamb. The event focused on the challenges…

The secret work of Wikipedia editors

Today marks a worldwide campaign to expand the number of women represented in Wikipedia and to increase the number of women who are Wikipedia editors. Last year we* worked with Melissa Highton to research how people learn to become Wikipedia editors. With the emergence of social media sites like Wikipedia there has been a range of new roles and responsibilities associated with knowledge creation.…

Motivations Matter, Context Counts: Learning in MOOCs

  Massive open online courses (MOOCs) require individual learners to be able to self-regulate their learning, determining when and how they engage. However, MOOCs attract a diverse range of learners, each with different motivations and prior experience. We carried out a number of  studies investigating self-regulated learning in MOOCs. One study (Littlejohn et al, 2015) was an empirical investigation of…

Managing time in a MOOC

Recently I have been thinking about how learners manage their time in MOOCs. This thinking was sparked by discussions with Carolyn Rose, Carnegie Mellon University, who has carried out some fascinating computational discourse analysis in  Massive Open Online Courses.  At face value its clear that better time management will lead to improved outcomes for learning. There has been a…

Qualified, self-regulated learners follow parts of a MOOC that helps them solve a problem

Understanding learning in Massive Open Online Courses is difficult, partly because methods and instruments for data collection are under-developed. Published work tends to be from data samples that are too small or skewed. Dropout rates in MOOCs mean that the learners who participate in studies show persistence, therefore samples are not representative. Even if this…

Conflicting perspectives on MOOCs

  Katie Vale and I  recently wrote a chapter on Massive Open Online Courses: a traditional or transformative approach to learning which will be published in 2014 in Reusing Open Resources (Routledge) http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/catalogs/educational_technology_e-learning/2/2/. In the chapter we explore the conflicting opinions and perspectives around MOOCs. These perspectives are rooted in the diverse origins of the concept of…

Four observations on how OER initiatives are modelled

Isobel Falconer, Lou McGill, Eleni Boursinou and I  have been commissioned by the EC to carry out a SWOT analysis of Open Educational Resource initiatives for adult learning. In 2012 we carried out a scoping of adult learning initiatives using OER. We identified over 150 different initiatives distributed across Europe. In March we invited the leaders of the initiatives…