How health professionals regulate their learning in massive open online courses

Milligan, Colin and Littlejohn, Allison (2016). How health professionals regulate their learning in massive open online courses. The Internet and Higher Education, 31 pp. 113–121.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2016.07.005

Abstract

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are typically designed around a self-guided format that assumes learners can regulate their own learning, rather than relying on tutor guidance. However, MOOCs attract a diverse spectrum of learners, who differ in their ability and motivation to manage their own learning. This study addresses the research question ‘How do professionals self-regulate their learning in a MOOC?’ The study examined the ‘Fundamentals of Clinical Trials’ MOOC offered by edX, and presents narrative descriptions of learning drawn from interviews with 35 course participants. The descriptions provide an insight into the goal-setting, self-efficacy, learning and task strategies, and help-seeking of professionals choosing to study this MOOC. Gaining an insight into how these self-regulatory processes are or are not enacted highlights potential opportunities for pedagogic and technical design of MOOCs.

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