Unpacking MOOC Scholarly Discourse: A Review of he Nascent MOOC Scholarship

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Learning, Media and Technology


The rapid rise of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) signals a shift in the ways in which digital teaching and learning are engaged in and understood. Drawing upon a comprehensive search of nine leading academic databases, this paper examines the initial phase of MOOC scholarship (2009–2013), and offers an analysis of these empirical studies that conceptualizes themes in MOOC scholarship and locates them within a chronological framework. Two key phases of scholarship about MOOCs are identified, each with associated research imperatives and themes. Phase One: Connectivist MOOCs, Engagement and Creativity 2009–2011/2012. Themes of Phase One include: development of Connectivism as a learning theory, and technological experimentation and innovation in early cMOOCs. Phase Two: xMOOCs, Learning Analytics, Assessment, and Critical Discourses about MOOCs 2012–2013. Themes of Phase Two include: the rise of xMOOCs, further development of MOOC pedagogy and platforms, growth of learning analytics and assessment, and the emergence of a critical discourse about MOOCs.


© 2014 Taylor & Francis

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