Evaluating MOOCs' Long-Term Impact: A Theory of Change Approach

Perryman, Leigh-Anne (2020). Evaluating MOOCs' Long-Term Impact: A Theory of Change Approach. In: Mishra, Sanjaya and Panda, Santosh eds. Technology-Enabled Learning: Policy, Pedagogy and Practice. Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning. Vancouver, Canada: Commonwealth of Learning, pp. 143–164.

URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11599/3655


MOOCs are increasingly positioned as helping achieve educational equity in the Global South (Laurillard & Kennedy, 2017), often in connection with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” However, some argue that MOOCs strengthen the dominant academic culture of the West, to the exclusion of alternative voices, “exacerbating existing educational divisions” (Czerniewicz et al., 2014, p. 122). Consequently, there have been calls for more locally relevant MOOCs in the Global South with respect to both pedagogy and content. There has also been demand for rigorous evaluation of MOOCs’ long-term impact on learners and other stakeholders in diverse contexts, in order to ascertain whether such courses are achieving their intended outcomes.This chapter details a new approach to evaluating MOOCs’ long-term impact on participants and other stakeholders, across diverse contexts. The approach, which adapts the “theory of change” (ToC) model, common for planning and evaluating international development interventions, is particularly suitable for evaluating professional development-focused MOOCs.

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