Topical Collection "Massive Open Online Courses"

Editor

Collection Editor
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ebba Ossiannilsson

The Swedish Association for Distance Education
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: blended learning; choice-based learning; connectivity; e-learning; hybrid learning; learning analytics; learning design; learning spaces, MOOCs; OER; online open learning; quality; rhizome learning

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

The speed of digitization is constantly challenging and affecting the ways we live, learn, work, and relate to each other. More people are connected to the Internet than ever before, using digital devices and services for work, and for all aspects of their life, also for learning. In part this has been fueled by the rise of mobile broadband, which every day ensures the participation of more peoples around the globe, in the digital economy. New technologies have also proliferated over the past decade—some even more recently—artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, cloud computing, Internet of Things, machine learning, mobile applications, nanotechnology, and 3D printing among others. These will drive profound change in our daily lives over the coming decade, radically altering how we consume, produce, learn, and work. And as with all transformational changes, they present us with great opportunity, and significant challenges too. These challenges require new skills and competencies which again has led to an increasing focus on and demand for lifelong learning by society. While digitization throws up new challenges, it is also the solution to address these. Through enabling accessibility and flexible delivery of new competency training, lifelong learning can be made available to all.

Because of this transformation, all global organizations, such as UNESCO, Commonwealth of Learning, OECD, the European Commission, and others around the globe, call for opening up education in all means:

…turn international policy statements into actions to ensure equity, access, and quality which encourages countries to provide inclusive, equitable, quality education and life-long learning opportunities for all. In particular, this is to respond to the scale and urgency of need for higher education in the period 2015 to 2030 due to the expected massive growth of students.

Education transforms lives and is at the heart of UNESCO’s mission to build peace, eradicate poverty and drive sustainable development. UNESCO believes that education is a human right for all throughout life and that access must be matched by quality. UNESCO leads the Global Education 2030 Agenda through Sustainable Development Goal 4. The roadmap to achieve this is the Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA).

Global actions aim to encourage, facilitate, and embrace the power of online, open and flexible Higher Education for the future we want for a sustainable global development, and to allow education for all, at any time, from anywhere, by any person, at any time and on any device. Thus, we have to concentrate, what is on the horizon related to the entire concept of opening up education. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) provides offers and resources as never before. New business models are seen, not just branding and common goods, but also, for example, MOOCs are used both for lifelong learning, nano degrees, and degrees, but also as continuing professional development (CPD), and not least of all, to meet the enormous higher education updates for refugees. MOOCs have also highlighted pedagogical questions for open online learning, as we can not educate today’s students with methods from the past century, for a future we do not know anything about. There are huge needs for innovations and entrepreneurship to meet demands in the global society today, and tomorrow. Opening up education requires also that we go beyond MOOCs and OERs (Open Educational Resources) and also to find new opportunities for learning, especially for personal learning, just for me and just in time learning.

We very much welcome your contribution of your research and/or policy statements.

Education Sciences is an open access journal, so we are welcoming articles continuously.

We will especially address some burning themes:

  • MOOCs to reach the SDG4 goals
  • Open online learning beyond MOOCs
  • Innovation in global open online learning
  • New pedagogy and learning engagement
  • MOOCs, and innovative learning spaces
  • Can MOOCs address the need to “skill” the population around the globe for the 21st century?
  • The next generation of learners, teachers, managers, administrators
  • Opening up learning to ensure equity, access, and quality
  • Credentialization and recognition of MOOC-based learning
  • Stakeholders for MOOCs
  • Business models for MOOCs
  • Learners success stories
  • If MOOCs are the answers, what are the questions?
  • Learning analytics, what can we learn from the MOOCs
  • Pedagogical and student-centered learning, what can we learn from the MOOCs

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ebba Ossiannilsson
Collection Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • choice based learning
  • equity, access and quality
  • globalization
  • lifelong and lifewide learning
  • new learning environments
  • open online learning
  • recognition
  • MOOC

Published Papers (5 papers)

2018

Jump to: 2017, 2016

Open AccessArticle Factors Affecting MOOC Usage by Students in Selected Ghanaian Universities
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020070
Received: 18 March 2018 / Revised: 22 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
PDF Full-text (609 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There has been widespread criticism about the rates of participation of students enrolled on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), more importantly, the percentage of students who actively consume course materials from beginning to the end. The current study sought to investigate this trend
[...] Read more.
There has been widespread criticism about the rates of participation of students enrolled on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), more importantly, the percentage of students who actively consume course materials from beginning to the end. The current study sought to investigate this trend by examining the factors that influence MOOC adoption and use by students in selected Ghanaian universities. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) was extended to develop a research model. A survey was conducted with 270 questionnaires administered to students who had been assigned MOOCs; 204 questionnaires were retrieved for analysis. Findings of the study show that MOOC usage intention is influenced by computer self-efficacy, performance expectancy, and system quality. Results also showed that MOOC usage is influenced by facilitating conditions, instructional quality, and MOOC usage intention. Social influence and effort expectancy were found not to have a significant influence on MOOC usage intention. The authors conclude that universities must have structures and resources in place to promote the use of MOOCs by students. Computer skills training should also be part of the educational curriculum at all levels. MOOC designers must ensure that the MOOCs have good instructional quality by using the right pedagogical approaches and also ensure that the sites and learning materials are of good quality. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

2017

Jump to: 2018, 2016

Open AccessArticle Lessons Learned from the Dying2Learn MOOC: Pedagogy, Platforms and Partnerships
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci7030067
Received: 9 May 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
PDF Full-text (212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
(1) Background: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are becoming more commonplace in the delivery of free online education and a Dying2Learn MOOC was offered by a team at Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University, South Australia; (2) Methods: Working with the OpenLearning platform
[...] Read more.
(1) Background: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are becoming more commonplace in the delivery of free online education and a Dying2Learn MOOC was offered by a team at Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University, South Australia; (2) Methods: Working with the OpenLearning platform developer, a research study and MOOC evaluation were embedded in the course, and content was delivered in innovative ways without compromising pedagogical approaches; (3) Results: This MOOC provided the facilitators with the opportunity to view education as an intervention, with testing undertaken, including measuring attitudinal change. Research, clinical and community partnerships were developed or reaffirmed and the value of ongoing partnerships with developers in creating platforms and tools that can expand the options for online learning is highlighted. Opportunities for future health professional and consumer education were also explored; (4) Conclusion: MOOCs can provide innovative opportunities to redesign educational approaches, which can be achieved by working with new technologies and with platform developers, while still adhering to pedagogical principles. Full article

2016

Jump to: 2018, 2017

Open AccessArticle MOOCs as Change Agents to Boost Innovation in Higher Education Learning Arenas
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030025
Received: 3 April 2016 / Revised: 30 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 August 2016 / Published: 6 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) provide opportunities for learners to benefit from initiatives that are promoted by prestigious universities worldwide. The introduction of MOOCs in 2008 has since then transformed education globally. Consequently, MOOCs should be acknowledged as a pedagogical innovation and recognized
[...] Read more.
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) provide opportunities for learners to benefit from initiatives that are promoted by prestigious universities worldwide. The introduction of MOOCs in 2008 has since then transformed education globally. Consequently, MOOCs should be acknowledged as a pedagogical innovation and recognized as change agents and facilitators in the transition of opening up education, in the transition from traditional campus education to open online learning arenas, which increases learners’ access to and equity in lifelong learning. There is a need to consider MOOCs as a natural part of universities’ course offerings and business models and to recognize MOOCs as valuable for learners. Furthermore, MOOCs should be regarded as valuable learning and educational initiatives in the same way that journals and books are recognized. Learners should be able to take MOOCs either at their own university or from other providers. Moreover, MOOCs should be valued in policies, strategies, and action plans, and they should be included in processes of quality enhancement and quality assurance. This paper points out the merits of the innovative use of MOOCs in higher education. In this qualitative literature research, a content method analysis was conducted through a systematic review of the literature. Through the findings from the literature research it is suggested that MOOCs could be permanent change agents that boost innovation in higher education learning arenas. In particular, the findings revealed the benefits of MOOCs in various areas, such as lifelong learning, professional competence development, validation of learning, and degree recognition, in addition to clarifying several business models of higher education. Full article
Open AccessArticle Creating a Community Rather Than a Course—Possibilities and Dilemmas in an MOOC
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6020018
Received: 29 March 2016 / Revised: 20 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article, a massive open online course (MOOC) made by and for Swedish teachers will be presented and discussed in order to determine what possibilities and dilemmas are involved when creating and participating in an MOOC that is meant to be a
[...] Read more.
In this article, a massive open online course (MOOC) made by and for Swedish teachers will be presented and discussed in order to determine what possibilities and dilemmas are involved when creating and participating in an MOOC that is meant to be a community rather than a course. By analysing interviews of the organisers as well as blog posts and surveys answered by participants, the conclusions that can be drawn point to the ambiguity of the boundary created between participating in a community and in a course. The way one is expected to participate in the MOOC differs from how one is usually expected to participate in professional development courses. The social aspects of a community become the focus for the participants in the MOOC rather than the content that it is addressing. The skeletal structure of the MOOC inhibits the participation of those who are unaccustomed to the digital environment where it takes place. Furthermore, the division of labour between participants and organisers is affected by the notion of course and therefore becomes ambiguous and creates tensions for both organisers and participants. Full article
Open AccessArticle Value and Pricing of MOOCs
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6020014
Received: 27 February 2016 / Revised: 19 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reviewed in this article is the potential for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to transform higher education delivery, accessibility, and costs. Next, five major value propositions for MOOCs are considered (headhunting, certification, face-to-face learning, personalized learning, integration with services external to the MOOC,
[...] Read more.
Reviewed in this article is the potential for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to transform higher education delivery, accessibility, and costs. Next, five major value propositions for MOOCs are considered (headhunting, certification, face-to-face learning, personalized learning, integration with services external to the MOOC, marketing). Then, four pricing strategies for MOOCs are examined (cross-subsidy, third-party, “freemium”, nonmonetary). Although the MOOC movement has experienced growing pains similar to most innovations, we assert that the unyielding pace of improvements in network technologies combined with the need to tame the costs of higher education will create continuing demand for MOOC offerings. Full article
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