Instructor Perceptions of Quality Learning in MOOCs They Teach

Jacob H. Askeroth, Jennifer C. Richardson


Discussions regarding the instructional and learning value of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) include the question of whether or not MOOC learners gain much value, if any at all, and has been a continuing debate since MOOCs began.  Skeptics argue that MOOCs lack academic rigor and are superficial, while proponents praise them as addressing important global issues of educational access and affordability, providing pathways to more substantial learning opportunities.  An important viewpoint in this conversation that warrants consideration is that of the professors/instructors who teach MOOCs and how they perceive the quality of learning that takes place in their MOOCs.  In this study, semi-structured qualitative interviews were used with three MOOC instructors and an inductive analysis approach that resulted in the emergence of three main themes.  The findings from this study suggest that instructors do believe that quality learning can take place within a MOOC and is often accomplished through social constructivism and self-regulated learning approaches.  Discussions, dialogues, negotiations, collaborations as well as learners accomplishing their intended goals in the course were all considered to be manifestations of quality learning in a MOOC.  Implications of the findings for additional research and practice are also discussed.


Massive Open Online Courses; MOOCs; social constructivism; self-regulated learning; online learning

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