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MOOCs with attitudes: Insights from a practitioner based investigation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Monika Chadaj, Gordon Baxter, Colin Allison

School/Research organisations


In the current educational landscape of shrinking public budgets and increasing costs, MOOCs have become one of the most dominant discourses in higher education (HE). However, due to their short history, they are only just beginning to be systematically investigated. In an attempt to shed more light on the MOOC phenomenon, this study complements other approaches by eliciting institutional attitudes to MOOC provision using qualitative content analysis on responses captured in a series of semi-structured interviews with participants who hold senior positions in universities and who are involved in creating institutional policy and/or the design and delivery of MOOCs. A context for these interviews was created by looking at MOOCs from historical, pedagogical, monetary and technological perspectives. Five topics emerged that were subsequently used as common points of reference for comparisons across the interviews: motivation, monetization, pedagogy, traditional universities and public access to higher education. The analysis of attitudes to, and the importance of, these topics are summarized, and also illustrated through quotes from the participants. Interestingly, it does not appear that MOOCs are regarded by insiders as disruptive as the media presents them, but rather are seen primarily as marketing vehicles for global education brands.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2014 Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)
Subtitle of host publicationOpening Doors to Innovation and Internationalization in Engineering Education
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781479939220
ISBN (Print)9781479939213
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014
Event2014 Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) - Melia Castilla Hotel & Convention Center, Madrid, Spain
Duration: 22 Oct 201425 Oct 2014


Conference2014 Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)
Internet address

    Research areas

  • Open Learning, Web-based education, MOOC

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ID: 181307104