For fact’s sake: thoughts towards researching MOOCs


  • Andrew Wright


MOOC, instructional design, higher education, philanthropy, factpacking


As an instructional designer, I have spent much of the last 18 months working closely with academics to develop Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) for the University of Birmingham in partnership with FutureLearn. My involvement in these projects (and exposure to all the debate and hyperbole that surrounds them) has made me curious to explore the nature of MOOCs, and whether or not they justify the grand claims that have been made in terms of their disruptive potential. To this end I am setting out to research and explore educators’ thoughts and perspectives on their experiences of MOOC design, development and delivery. I hope to discover how these recent experiences compare to their prior experiences of learning and teaching in higher education, what educators consider ‘successful’ delivery (and therefore the purpose) of MOOCs to be, and what implications this might have for future educational practice and strategy in higher education. As I prepare my research proposal I am reflecting on what this might mean and where I stand on this. These are my preliminary and reflective thoughts