Impacts of Educational Technologies on Learning Engagement – A Case of Latvian and Thai's Learners: Learning in the Massive Open Online courses (MOOCs)

Impacts of Educational Technologies on Learning Engagement – A Case of Latvian and Thai's Learners: Learning in the Massive Open Online courses (MOOCs)

Rita Birziņa (University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia) and Jaitip Na-Songkhla (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJSEUS.2019100104
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Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have changed the traditional approach to the teaching process in higher education, so it is important to observe how learning takes place in that technology-rich environment. Cognitive, social, and emotional engagement as part of the MOOCs learning context is a basic principle that prescribes the relationships and interactions between the teacher, student, and learning setting. Each of these components has multiple features and is related to the complex nature of learning and teaching. The qualitative exploratory research design as a case study was conducted with educators and students from two countries – Latvia and Thailand. They were involved in learning within a free massive open online course supported by the UK MOOCs platform – FutureLearn. The qualitative data processing program AQUAD was used for processing data. Results show that there are some differences and similarities in comprehension of the MOOCs impact on learning engagement between learners of Latvia and Thailand.
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Nowadays, the European Union (EU) is facing considerable challenges – challenges too big to be dealt with by any one country acting alone: the economic crisis; unemployment, especially for young people; changing demographics; the emergence of new competitors; new technologies and modes of working (McAleese et al., 2013). In the key message from the Europe 2020 strategy, and from the Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education it is mentioned that with the advancement of technology and new forms of delivering education have evolved open and massive Open Online Courses (OOCs and MOOCs), blended teaching and learning, and using ICT to enhance ‘traditional’ ways of delivering education (p.48).

The Porto Declaration on European MOOCs (EADTU, 2014) emphasizes the importance of taking this opportunity for embracing full openness as a collective European response and strengthening of collaboration of universities across Europe. It calls Europe to “seize this moment to grab the opportunities offered by MOOCs” (p. 1) and states that a cohesive and collaborative pan-European response is the only way to achieve these aims.

It is important to note that MOOCs remain relatively poorly defined and they should not all be assumed to confer similar benefits. Nevertheless, the Porto Declaration recognizes that the open and online learning movement has great potential to educate in a flexible way while meeting the needs of today’s learners for an increasingly complex world. The principle of ‘openness’ applies to open accessibility, open licensing policy, freedom of place, pace and time of study, open entry, and open pedagogy. Consequently, it is a call for governments and institutions within Europe to support and actively implement the key Paris OER Declaration of UNESCO (2012).

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