The transformative potential of MOOCs and contrasting online pedagogies
Diana Laurillard, Eileen Kennedy
The aim of this project is to investigate the transformative potential of digital technologies, such as MOOCs, in higher education. The specific research questions are:
1. Could MOOCs offer an alternative HE model that is capable of addressing the large-scale educational challenges implicit in the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030?
- This is the main focus of our research, given the success of the teacher professional development MOOCs we have been analysing. There are two emerging strands: (i) the developing role of MOOCs as research tools, where participants generate large-scale platform data and digital products that can be analysed and categorised (such as learning designs, or action plans for local solutions); (ii) the MOOC as a means of emulating the development of professional community knowledge in science and scholarship by using the platforms to orchestrate this process and its cycle of progressive outputs.
- Our co-design based research approach is to develop and analyse a ‘local inclusion’ model of collaborative professional development and knowledge building in the context of different professional areas, currently: blended learning, community based research methods, and education for change. As part of this, we are developing models of blended learning, in which a MOOC is embedded in or aligned with a place-based course.
2. Which digital pedagogies achieve significantly higher productivity of educator time?
- We have demonstrated the value and importance of peer review as an important pedagogy, enhanced by the orchestration a MOOC platform provides. The MOOCs we are investigating provide the means to understand better, for example, the motivation for doing peer review and the types of value gained.
- Developing MOOCs as a tool for community knowledge building requires a more dialogic approach that enables the course team and participants to learn from each other – applying the Conversational Framework to the conduct of professional development.