The Use of MOOCs in the Continuing Education of Individuals and Organisations

The Use of MOOCs in the Continuing Education of Individuals and Organisations

Antonios S. Andreatos (Hellenic Air Force Academy, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8279-5.ch003


In today's world, due to the evolution in technology and science, old knowledge is fast becoming obsolete while new knowledge is produced in exponential rates. Therefore, lifelong learning is essential for knowledge-intensive persons such as engineers and scientists, as well as, organisations which want to stay competitive in today's globalised environment. It is the aim of this chapter to examine the use of MOOCs in the continuing education of employees in knowledge-intensive workplaces, as well as, organisations based on the knowledge economy. Initially, the main characteristics of the modern learning landscape will be presented; the need for continuing education and lifelong learning will be discussed. An extensive presentation of MOOCs will take place. A survey of the open research problems in the study of MOOCs will be presented. Finally, educational policies, enterprise policies and suggestions for self-directed continuing and lifelong learning via MOOCs will be proposed.
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2. The Modern Learning Landscape

The evolution of ICT has gradually formed a modern learning landscape characterised by:

  • 1.

    The production of information and new knowledge in dizzy rates (Andreatos, 2012);

  • 2.

    Information overload;

  • 3.

    The emergence of Web 2.0-based technologies, media and applications (Andreatos, 2012);

  • 4.

    New portable devices and the possibilities they offer in learning (Grunwald Associates et al., 2012);

  • 5.

    New ways of acquiring knowledge (e.g., Lave and Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998; Dillenbourg, 1999; Mkhize et al., 2011);

  • 6.

    New sources of knowledge, such as MOOCs (e.g., Kikkas et al., 2011; Kop & Carroll, 2011);

  • 7.

    Emerging learning theories trying to describe these new ways of acquiring knowledge (e.g., Cooper, 1993; Siemens, 2005; Kop & Carroll, 2011; Andreatos, 2012).

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