Massive Open Online Courses and Integrating Open Source Technology and Open Access Literature Into Technology-Based Degrees

Massive Open Online Courses and Integrating Open Source Technology and Open Access Literature Into Technology-Based Degrees

Maurice Dawson (University of Missouri – St. Louis, USA), Sharon L. Burton (Grand Canyon University, USA), Dustin Bessette (National Graduate School of Quality Management, USA) and Jorja Wright (University of Charleston, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch687
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Abstract

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a new phenomenon of course delivery for students, faculty, and administrators to use. As this technology continues to grow in the short term it is essential to develop a method in which Open Source Software (OSS), open source technologies, and open access literature can be incorporated to strengthen the MOOC environment. Strengthening the MOOC environment can be used as a method to increase retention as well as increase enrollment in higher education. As Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs are going online it is imperative that the tools meet the demands of today's marketplace. This chapter provides insights on these open technology solutions so that current and future MOOCs can be enhanced with little to no cost added.
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Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is to (1) understand MOOCS, massive online open courses, and differentiate MOOCS from other like learning and training methodologies, (2) comprehend the manner in that MOOCS can be utilized, as well as the (3) lasting impacts of MOOCS on learning whether in academics or the corporate environment. MOOCs are aimed at large scale participation in online education (Bud, Smith, & Reisman, 2015). This chapter will identify for educators, administrators, and practitioners the staggering awareness of the outcomes of this learning modality. MOOCs are continuing to change the way individuals receive education and learn. One idea of MOOCs is that learners may learn through collective education using what is believed to be a form of experimentation wrapped in andragogy, adult learning, andragogy. Education through Knowles’ adult learning, offers the notion of learners gaining knowledge and understanding through (a) self-directedness, (b) need to know, (c) use of experience in learning, (d) readiness to learn, (e) orientation to learning, and (f) internal motivation (Knowles, 1979; Taylor & Kroth, 2009). Another view is that MOOCs could be the answer to the economic concerns faced by institutions of higher learning, the push to increase learner enrollment, and the drive to enhance graduation completion rates (Ng’ambi & Bozalek, 2015). Administrators, educators, and practitioners are faced with the increased popularity of MOOCs. The popularities of MOOCs include the positives as well as the concerns: their impersonal nature, numerous students enrolled into an individual section of a MOOC course, instructors serving as facilitators, as well as there being no instructors assigned to courses. MOOCs, post-date open courseware which was on the increase in 1990s and the sharing of courseware online. Specifically, open courseware stems from face-to-face instructions wherein instructors share aspects of their courses on the Internet which may be reading lists, assignments, recorded videos, audio lectures, or syllabi. One of the understood top aspects regarding MOOCs is that these courses fulfil knowledge gaps for learners. MOOCs propose for the learners the alternative of completing quality courses without a financial obligation. Some MOOCs courses, like Cousera, offer certificates. With this said MOOCS offer inexpensive avenues to add certificates to learners’ resumes and therefore ways to drive personal accomplishments. MOOCs have maintained a large following of users. They draw attention and remain the element learners need to study and become educated outside of the traditional classroom.

This chapter will delve into key significant areas. First, the researchers will gain understanding regarding the development of a method in which Open Source Software (OSS), open source technologies, and open access literature can be incorporated to strengthen the MOOC environment. Second, readers will garner comprehension of how to strengthen the MOOC environment and therefore increase retention in addition to increasing enrollment in higher education. Third, the lasting impacts of MOOCs will be described, mainly as the impacts relate to STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and how such programs are entering the online space. Through this chapter, educators and administrators will grasp an increased interpretation of the technologies that have influenced learning and development. Administrators and Practitioners will learn meaningful solutions about open technology solutions so that as-is and to-be MOOCs can be improved with minimal cost. Further readers, researchers, administrators, and practitioners will learn how to infuse MOOCs learning and training initiatives to ensure best outcomes in the academic and e business world.

Key Terms in this Chapter

GNU Public License: A widely used free software license that is managed under the GNU Not Linux Project (Stallman, 1991 AU51: The in-text citation "Stallman, 1991" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Linux: An open source version of the UNIX OS ( Perens, 1999 ).

MOOC: An online course with the option of free and open registration, publicly shared curriculum, and open ended outcomes ( McAuley, Stewart, Siemens, & Cormier, 2010 ).

Open Source Software: Software that allows the original source code to be free available which may be freely redistributed or modified ( Perens, 1999 ).

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