From design to impact: a phenomenological study of HumanMOOC participants’ learning and implementation into practice

Patrice Torcivia Prusko, Heather Robinson, Whitney Kilgore, Maha Al-Freih


The purpose of this research study is to shift the focus on Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) research by changing the narrative surrounding MOOC effectiveness from issues of course completion and certification to the impact of these courses on participants’ actual practices. The “Humanizing Online Teaching and Learning” or HumanMOOC was offered four times with 2,614 participants overall and covered topics on the elements of the Community of Inquiry framework: social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence. Through phenomenological inquiry, literature review, demographics, survey and interviews, the researchers gathered and analyzed information from learners who completed the HumanMOOC. Three themes of the interviews that emerged from the coding analysis process are: learning journeyers, I think I can, and bringing it back to the classroom. The intention to participate and to overcome barriers, and the increase in self-efficacy as a result of personal accomplishment, impacted the participants’ will to implement what was learned into their teaching practice.


Community of inquiry; humanizing; online learning; online teaching; pedagogy; presence; MOOC; mentoring; self-efficacy; wayfinder

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Copyright (c) 2020 Heather Robinson

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