This study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through its MOOC Research Initiative funding stream, explored the role of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in supporting and enabling professional learning, or learning for work.
The study was contextualised within ‘Fundamentals of clinical trials’, a MOOC for health professionals designed and run by the Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Catalyst (in the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center), and offered by the online learning platform edX.
The research was informed by contemporary theories of professional learning, which argue that conventional forms of learning are no longer effective in knowledge-intensive domains.
As work roles evolve and learning for work becomes continual and personalised, self-regulation is becoming a critical element of professional learning. Established forms of professional learning, however, generally have not taken advantage of the affordances of social, semantic technologies to support self-regulated learning.
MOOCs present a potentially useful approach to professional learning that may be designed to encourage self-regulated learning (SRL).
Study outputs available or planned include academic publications and new datasets and instruments that are freely available to the MOOC Research community to use, refine and extend. Alongside scientific outputs, project outputs are of value to the wider MOOC community of designers, developers, providers and practitioners. The recommendations from Phase 3 have immediate, practical use, providing MOOC designers with guidelines to review design decisions and inform future MOOC design.
The project ran between October 2013 and April 2014.
Follow the links on the left to find out more about the project. The new 'findings' section provides a link to the key findings of the project. We are currently finalising data analysis for the project. One paper has been submitted for publication, with others in preparation.