Topical Collection "Massive Open Online Courses"

Editor

Prof. Dr. Ebba Ossiannilsson
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Collection Editor
Swedish Association for Distance Education and International Council for Open and Distance Education, Lund, 222 35, Sweden
Interests: Product Innovation; Enterprise Integration Engineering; Concurrent Engineering; Rapid Product Development
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

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 double-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 monthly 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 (7 papers)

2020

Jump to: 2018, 2017, 2016

Article
Responding to Global Learning Needs during a Pandemic: An Analysis of the Trends in Platform Use and Incidence of COVID-19
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10110345 - 22 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to be a pandemic. As a result, the OpenWHO.org online platform, which serves as WHO’s learning hub for emergencies, was tested for the first time on its [...] Read more.
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to be a pandemic. As a result, the OpenWHO.org online platform, which serves as WHO’s learning hub for emergencies, was tested for the first time on its core purpose of scaling up trusted public health information in a global emergency. This descriptive study examines and documents the WHO learning response in the early months of the pandemic by comparing epidemiological information and OpenWHO.org use in the countries with the highest COVID-19 cases. Statistical datasets from OpenWHO.org and WHO’s COVID-19 dashboard were overlaid for the period 11 March–22 May 2020. During this period, for most of the 24 countries with the highest COVID-19 cases, platform use showed a corresponding trend. Courses published in the official languages spoken in these countries were well utilized, indicating a need to produce materials in languages spoken by affected communities. Of the countries with the highest number of users on OpenWHO, only half were top users of the platform before the pandemic. The existence of an established online platform for health emergencies assisted WHO in massively and quickly scaling up the dissemination of essential learning materials for COVID-19. Full article
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Article
Measurement of the MOOC Phenomenon by Pre-Service Teachers: A Descriptive Case Study
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090215 - 20 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1380
Abstract
The main objective of this research is to establish the measurement of pre-service teachers on the MOOC phenomenon, one of the most important manifestations within the processes of on-line education that have emerged under the protection of the digital paradigm. The research methodology [...] Read more.
The main objective of this research is to establish the measurement of pre-service teachers on the MOOC phenomenon, one of the most important manifestations within the processes of on-line education that have emerged under the protection of the digital paradigm. The research methodology used was of an exploratory, qualitative, and descriptive nature. It falls within the generic scope of qualitative research methods of an ethnographic nature through the analysis of learning objects and interventions in the network. The sample (n = 218) was composed of students from the educational field, who took a subject focused on ICT applied to education, over several academic years. Using the edublog as a digital and documentary source, a total of 1962 frequencies were collected referring to the advantages (1052 frequencies) and limitations (910 frequencies) that they determined when carrying out these courses. As main results, it is worth mentioning that pre-service teachers consider MOOC courses valuable as teaching models in socio-educational contexts. They offer unquestionable advantages such as free of charge usage, training for disadvantaged groups, flexible hours, etc. However, their disadvantages are also important. For example, it is considered that these courses do not adequately follow up on the student, that the materials they offer are not very innovative, or also that the evaluation of the learning is inadequate. It is interesting to note that the main problems identified are of a pedagogical, not technical, nature. Full article
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2018

Jump to: 2020, 2017, 2016

Article
Factors Affecting MOOC Usage by Students in Selected Ghanaian Universities
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020070 - 16 May 2018
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3173
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
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2017

Jump to: 2020, 2018, 2016

Article
Lessons Learned from the Dying2Learn MOOC: Pedagogy, Platforms and Partnerships
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci7030067 - 29 Jun 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4164
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: 2020, 2018, 2017

Article
MOOCs as Change Agents to Boost Innovation in Higher Education Learning Arenas
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030025 - 06 Aug 2016
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3586
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
Article
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 - 20 Jun 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3021
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
Article
Value and Pricing of MOOCs
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6020014 - 27 May 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3951
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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