Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The evolution and impact of the massive open online course
by Moe, Rolin, Ed.D., Pepperdine University, 2014, 205; 3625105
Abstract (Summary)

An online learning phenomenon emanated 2½ years ago from three courses taught at Stanford University, promising an opportunity for high-quality instruction from elite institutions and professors for no cost to the student. This phenomenon, which came to be known as the MOOC, catalyzed sweeping changes in both higher education’s relationship with distance education, as well as the discussion of higher education in society, in a remarkably short period of time.

While people have questioned the effectiveness of MOOC learning and the potential negative consequences of adopting MOOC systems either in support of or to replace existing educational infrastructure, the MOOC movement has continued to grow at a rapid pace. This research study sought to define the characteristics of the MOOC on the terms of learning theory, pedagogy, history, society and policy through the use of an expert-based Delphi study, where participants engaged in a phenomenological dialogue about what constitutes a MOOC in practice, the present state of higher education in the wake of the MOOC movement, the effect the phenomenon has had on education both structurally as well as socially, and visions of the future of the institution of higher education as affected by the MOOC.

In summary, panelists focused their agreement on cognitive and pragmatic aspects of the MOOC debate, such as a hope for learning analytics to offer solutions to educational problems as well as the opportunity for the MOOC system to offer tier-based education services to consumers. The Delphi discussion showcased the importance of cognitive theory in MOOC design as well as the relationship between MOOCs and economics, and highlighted the difficulty education experts have in agreeing on how to define educational terminology.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Polin, Linda
Commitee: Alexander, Bryan, Collatos, Anthony
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Education history, Educational technology, Higher education
Keywords: Critical theory, Delphi, History of education, Learning, MOOC, Massive open online course, Online education
Publication Number: 3625105
ISBN: 9781303995422
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