Saturday, April 6, 2013

MOOCs and Open Education: Implications for Higher Education

Li Yuan and Stephen Powell /  JISC CETIS / March 2013

This report sets out to help decision makers in higher education institutions gain a better understanding of the phenomenon of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and trends towards greater openness in higher education and to think about the implications for their institutions. The phenomena of MOOCs are described, placing them in the wider context of open education, online learning and the changes that are currently taking place in higher education at a time of globalisation of education and constrained budgets. The report is written from a UK higher education perspective, but is largely informed by the developments in MOOCs from the USA and Canada. A literature review was undertaken focussing on the extensive reporting of MOOCs through blogs, press releases as well as openly available reports. This identified current debates about new course provision, the impact of changes in funding and the implications for greater openness in higher education. The theory of disruptive innovation is used to help form the questions of policy and strategy that higher education institutions need to address.

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary 3
1.1. The focus of the report 3
1.2. Making sense of MOOCs 3
1.3. Analysis of MOOC initiatives 3
1.4. Issues and challenges for MOOCs 3
1.5. MOOCs as disruptive innovations 4
1.6. Implications for higher education 4
2. Introduction 5
3. Making sense of MOOCs 5
3.1. The history and key features of MOOCs 5
3.2. cMOOCs vs. xMOOCs 7
4. Analysis of MOOC-style open education initiatives 7
4.1. Key developments of MOOCS-style Initiatives 7
4.2. Motivations for MOOC providers 8
4.3. Motivations for learners 9
4.4. Business models 9
5. Issues and challenges for MOOCs 10
5.1. Sustainability 10
5.2. Pedagogy 10
5.3. Quality and completion rates 11
5.4. Assessment and credit 11
6. MOOCs: Disruptive innovation in HE? 12
6.1. Disruptive innovation theory 12
6.2. MOOCs disruption and innovation in higher education 13
7. Implications for higher education 15
7.1. Drivers and trends towards open education 15
7.2. Implications for educational policy 17
7.3. Implications for HE institutions 17
8. Conclusions 18
9. References 19

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