Project 3.4

The transformative potential of MOOCs and contrasting online pedagogies

Project timetable

This project will run from March 2017 until September 2019.

This is a tentative plan, based on current knowledge of what will be available, and the current state of the art of research on MOOCs. The field is developing rapidly, and some aspects may need to be revised.

Phase 1 ‘Refining the research questions and methodology’ (2017)

This will:

  1. select and negotiate engagement with existing online courses and MOOCs (IOE, UCL, Coursera, FutureLearn) for investigation, complementing case studies carried out in the CGHE project Alternative, emerging and cross-border higher education provision and its relationship with mainstream provision;
  2. investigate contrasting pedagogic designs in courses that aim for student transformation, using 50 student interviews;
  3. use performance and survey data collected by these platforms to analyse learning benefits, with 50 teacher interviews to estimate costs.

Phase 2 ‘Developmental testing research’ (2017-18)

This will:

  1. use the findings to develop and test teaching/assessment models in a new short undergraduate MOOC, building also on outcomes from the CGHE project Knowledge, curriculum and student agency.
  2. use activity-based costings to analyse the intended and actual costs of each model (Laurillard et al, 2013).
  3. run surveys to contribute to and build on those in the CGHE project The future higher education workforce in locally and globally engaged HEIs.

Phase 3 ‘Consolidation and co-production of findings’ (2019)

This will:

  1. generate briefings comparing the teacher time needed, and the learning benefits achieved, in large-scale online courses using different pedagogic models;
  2. produce guidelines for HE managers and teachers concerning pedagogic designs and business models for online courses;
  3. develop and run a MOOC as a professional development course for stakeholders, based on these resources and filmed interviews, where permission has been granted, to engage the HE profession in the implications for and embedding of future practices.