MOOCs on Mobiles: Curating the Web and Using Social Media to Enhance E-Learning

MOOCs on Mobiles: Curating the Web and Using Social Media to Enhance E-Learning

Jean-Éric Pelet, Marlene A. Pratt, Stéphane Fauvy
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2469-4.ch001
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MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have gained popularity for e-learning purposes. Effectiveness of a MOOC depends on the platform interface design and management, which should create student cohesiveness and optimize collaboration. A MOOC prototype was developed and e-learning applications were pilot-tested for one semester with a total of 160 students from graduate courses in a French business school. Students used a mobile supported e-learning environment and reported their experiences through the writing of a synthesis, the building of a CMS (Content Management System) and the elaboration of a content curation system.
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The “Learning for all” movement is stimulating active debates in the education space around the world. These debates combined with the emergence of new forms of blended learning as well as the arrival of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other forms of open educational resources (OERs) have made e-learning front page news across all continents and societies.

Collaborative learning is one of the key instructional strategies that are being adopted and has gained an increasing role in educational research and practices in recent years. Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is a pedagogical approach wherein learning takes place via social interaction using a computer or through the Internet (Zheng, Junfeng, Wei, & Ronghuai, 2014). This is possible thanks to the use of social media, enabling students to correspond, chat and comment on content related to a course. Many new technologies are emerging which offer new ways of teaching and learning, such as ubiquitous learning technologies, gesture-based computing, augmented reality technology, and learning analytics. Students who have grown up amidst new technologies are keen to use and adopt new devices, apps and various kinds of new ICT. Indeed, collaborative learning aims to promote students’ individual cognition, group cognition and community cognition through the use of appealing, fun, easy-to-use and instantaneous tools. These tools enable students to communicate with each other, as well as sharing documents and ideas, as if they were in the same classroom or spaces. The new generation of students are experiential, interactive and social learners, multi-taskers, structured and relevant learners, and technology immersed learners (Zheng et al., 2014).

The CSCL setting is characterized by the sharing and construction of knowledge among participants using technology as their primary means of communication or as a common resource (Stahl, Koschmann, & Suthers, 2006). The latter can be implemented online and in classroom learning environments, which can take place synchronously or asynchronously. The appropriate processes, assessment and interaction methods can provide insight into effectiveness of collaborative learning in face-to-face and online contexts. Accompanying CSCL, ubiquitous e-learning is a notion that is becoming a pertinent factor in education (Pelet & Papadopoulou, 2013; Stahl et al., 2006). Many universities are starting to experiment with hybrid educational models mixing digital technologies and social media with traditional teaching approaches. This has led to an increased rate of learning outcomes as a result of applying traditional and e-learning hybrid models (Bowen, 2012). The proliferation of social media and the development of learning lead to a sharp increase in the use of social media as a support in the learning process because they participate in the permanent construction of new knowledge (Zaina, Ameida, & Torres, 2014). Among the best known micro-blogging tools, Twitter (20 million users, 50 million tweets every day) (Cormode, Krishnamurthy, & Willinger, 2010) allows users to send free short messages (called tweets limited to 140 characters) and so communicate, share ideas, links or photos to other users (Dunlap & Lowenthal, 2009). The high cost of higher education is considered one of the principal problems of today's educational system (Bowen, 2012), where the technological shift towards digital learning environments is a partial solution. Universities recognize a more digitally coherent system of operation is less expensive than the traditional model of education, and has led to universities reviewing their investment strategies (Bourcieu & Léon, 2013).

MOOCs may be a catalyst in the process of re-imagining higher education or re-enchanting e-learning, due to the powerful elements constituting the MOOC architecture. Whether MOOCs are part of a global open education initiative or a for-profit education model, today there is certainly growing R&D interest, as well as entrepreneurial attention to this form of learning. There is, however, substantial criticism and typical bystander scepticism about MOOCs, which typlically include low completion rates.

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