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ERIC Number: EJ1131015
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-877X
How MOOCs Can Empower Learners: A Comparison of Provider Goals and User Experiences
Longstaff, Emily
Journal of Further and Higher Education, v41 n3 p314-327 2017
The collective aims of the three biggest providers of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are to promote anywhere, anytime learning; to increase access to world-class higher education; and to connect and empower learners. Through analysis of focus group discussions between MOOC participants at the Australian National University, this study shows that MOOCs do appear to empower some users, but perhaps not in the ways--or for the people--that providers had expected. Rather than simply producing a new means for disadvantaged groups to access higher education--which can, in turn, empower them to have more opportunities in social, political and economic avenues of life--even people who are already enrolled at university can be empowered, psychologically, by MOOCs to feel confident in their abilities and to try learning new things without fear of failure. The types of people most likely to be psychologically empowered by MOOCs are those who are intrinsically motivated to learn for learning's sake and who are anxious about the prospect of failure with regards to academic credit and course fees. Conversely, those who are more driven by extrinsic rewards may be more suited to a formally-graded learning environment, where fear of failure and financial investment in learning are regarded as motivating rather than de-motivating forces. These findings suggest that, while they may not have the same impact on all participants, MOOCs can still be a beneficial education resource with an ability to empower even already well-educated members of society.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A