To MOOC or not to MOOC?: A Case Study of Norway

To MOOC or not to MOOC?: A Case Study of Norway

Cathrine Tømte (Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), Norway), Arne Fevolden (Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), Norway) and Dorothy Sutherland Olsen (Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), Norway)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6154-7.ch012
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Abstract

Inspired by examples in the US and Europe, many Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Norway are exploring how they can use Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and other technologies to shape the classrooms of the future. This chapter briefly reviews expectations of MOOCs including both xMOOCs and cMOOCs and what they might do for higher education in a national context. Thereafter, it considers the development of MOOCs in relation to theories of disruptive technologies and national adoptions and/or adjustments to MOOCs. In this, the authors examine how Norwegian educational institutions are utilizing digital technology to support various solutions of online learning to address educational challenges. This approach is relevant as it serves as an example of how countries around the world explore the new possibilities that come with the MOOCs and other ubiquitous technologies and how they relate these to their existing organization of higher education.
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Relevance And Statement Of The Problem

When the Pew Research Centre asked 1,021 technology experts and technology stakeholders in the U.S. how they envisioned the future impact of the Internet in higher education, most agreed that market forces would exert pressure on universities to expand online education – creating hybrid learning environments, a movement towards “lifelong learning” models and new forms of credentialing structures, by the year 2020. The technology experts were, however, divided on whether such developments would lead to better educational outcomes (Anderson, Boyle, & Rainie, 2012).

These approaches include proprietary technologies such as systems for massive open online courses (MOOCs), “traditional”/”old” technologies that support online learning, such as learning management platforms, as well as more ubiquitous technologies such as social media.

There seems to be a shift in how the Information- and Communication Technology (ICT) and education issues are approached; moving away from thinking about how ICT might support education towards thinking about how ICT might change education (Granberg, 2011). In this respect, MOOCs might be a driver of change. Bearing this in mind, the chapter aims to illuminate the following questions:

  • In which ways do Norwegian higher education institutions make use of technologies that support online learning?

  • What are their experiences and thoughts about online learning?

  • What are the prospects on future teaching and learning with online learning?

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