A QUALITATIVE STUDY ON USAGE AND EFFECTIVENESS OF MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSES (MOOCS) IN INDIAN UNIVERSITY EDUCATION SYSTEM

Manojkumar Nagasampige, Kavita Nagasampige

Abstract


Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants. MOOCs have recently received a great deal of attention from the media, entrepreneurial vendors, education professionals and technologically literate sections of the public. MOOCs will provide free to access cutting edge courses to students of higher education in university system. Across the world, premier universities have put their courses online by setting up open learning platforms, such as edX. Commercial start-ups such as Coursera and Udacity have also been launched in collaboration with prestigious universities, offering online courses for free or charging a small fee for certification. The rapid expansion of MOOCs has sparked commercial interest from venture capitalists and major corporations who want to enter the Higher Education (HE) market using a MOOC approach. Students’ motivation to participate in MOOCs is a significant area of interest. Factors that influence students’ motivation to learn include future economic benefit, development of personal and professional identity, challenge and achievement, enjoyment and fun. What motivates the MOOC learner? Surveys conducted by researchers at Duke University show that student motivations typically fell into one of four categories viz. a) To support lifelong learning or gain an understanding of the subject matter, with no particular expectations for  completion or achievement b) For fun, entertainment, social experience and intellectual stimulation c)  Convenience, often in conjunction with barriers to traditional education options d) To experience or explore online education (Belanger  and Thornton, 2013). In order to investigate the usage and effectiveness of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) of edX, Coursera, Udacity and Udemy in university system in India, a qualitative study was employed by the authors and semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with students of higher education in Indian universities and teaching professionals in university setups. The authors interviewed the participants based on a list of questions expanded from the three primary research questions based on the awareness, content, usage and learning outcomes. The questions were open-ended, which allowed the participants to freely express their experiences, thoughts, and feelings about the use of MOOCs. This study demonstrates the awareness, usage and effectiveness of MOOCs among students and teaching professionals of Indian University system.  

 

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Keywords


MOOC, Massive Open Online Courses, edX, Coursera, Udacity, Udemy

References


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