How HE educators learn to teach Massive Open Online Courses. A case study

Papathoma, Tina; Littlejohn, Allison and Ferguson, Rebecca (2017). How HE educators learn to teach Massive Open Online Courses. A case study. European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction.


People working within HE institutions need to learn new forms of teaching and learning practice, to transform the ways they work. This study explores the types of knowledge gained by those working in HE when they teach massive open online courses (MOOCs). Data were gathered through a case study involving interviews with six people with teaching roles on one MOOC. Data analysis used Tynjälä’s model of integrative pedagogy to identify the different types of theoretical, practical, sociocultural and self-regulative knowledge needed in order to teach in a MOOC. The analysis shows that individuals did not engage in formal training (theoretical knowledge); they learned by experience; by (re-)running the MOOC and from learners’ feedback (practical knowledge). They also reflected on their learning experience, on their contact with different cultures, on engaging with ideas from other MOOCs and people (self-regulative knowledge). They worked collaboratively, sharing expertise, but sometimes found communication with colleagues was difficult (sociocultural knowledge). When they faced challenges they integrated theoretical, practical and self-regulative knowledge to solve problems (mediating processes).

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