How a MOOC can effectively facilitate student transitions to an online distance postgraduate programme
A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was developed to help promote awareness of, and support student transitions into, a fully online distance, credit-bearing postgraduate certificate (PGCert). A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was undertaken with participants on the PGCert to investigate learner experiences of both the MOOC and PGCert, and to establish the extent to which the MOOC supported learners’ transitions into the PGCert in terms of their (1) foundation knowledge, (2) study skills, (3) digital literacies, (4) readiness for self-directed learning, and to determine whether additional efforts could have been directed to more effectively support student transitions. Findings revealed that the MOOC informed participants’ decision to undertake the fully online PGCert, and that this was due to the effective learning design and a strong teacher presence throughout. The participants already possessed some background knowledge and a number of essential learning skills (though not uniformly), questioning assumptions around MOOCs as an aid to widening participation in higher education; however, the MOOC helped to enhance and unify these. Not surprisingly, there were some challenges encountered on entering online postgraduate study that the MOOC design could not anticipate or solve; therefore, we recommend that online learners are appropriately supported throughout their studies. This work has implications in terms of how MOOCs may help facilitate student transitions into other fully online, credit-bearing programmes of study.
Published: 20 September 2018
Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2018, 26: 2055 - http://dx.doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v26.2055
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.Authors contributing to Research in Learning Technology retain the copyright of their article and at the same time agree to publish their articles under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, for any purpose, even commercially, under the condition that appropriate credit is given, that a link to the license is provided, and that you indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.