A MOOC approach for training researchers in developing countries

Ravi Murugesan, Andy Nobes, Joanna Wild

Abstract


We report on an online course in research writing offered in a massive open online course (MOOC) format for developing country researchers. The concepts of cognitive presence, teacher presence, and social presence informed the design of the course, with a philosophy of strong social interaction supported by guest facilitators. The course was developed with low-bandwidth elements and hosted on a Moodle site. It was offered twice as a MOOC and 2830 learners from more than 90 countries, mainly in the developing world, took part. The average completion rate was 53%. Female learners and learners who were active in the forums were more likely to complete the course. Our MOOC approach may be a useful model for continuing professional development training in the developing world.


Keywords


MOOC; higher education; researchers; developing countries; continuing professional development; Moodle

Full Text:

HTML PDF XML

References


Aboshady, O. A., Radwan, A. E., Eltaweel, A. R., Azzam, A., Aboelnaga, A. A., Hashem, H. A., Darwish, S. Y., Salah, R., Kotb, O. N., Afifi, A. M., Noaman, A. M., Salem, D. S. & Hassouna, A. (2015). Perception and use of massive open online courses among medical students in a developing country: Multicentre cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 5(1), e006804. Retrieved from http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/1/e006804

Akyol, Z., & Garrison, D. R. (2011). Understanding cognitive presence in an online and blended community of inquiry: Assessing outcomes and processes for deep approaches to learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(2), 233-250. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.01029.x

Bali, M. (2014). MOOC pedagogy: Gleaning good practice from existing MOOCs. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(1), 44. Retrieved from http://jolt.merlot.org/vol10no1/bali_0314.pdf

Breslow, L., Pritchard, D. E., DeBoer, J., Stump, G. S., Ho, A. D., & Seaton, D. T. (2013). Studying learning in the worldwide classroom: Research into edX's first MOOC. Research & Practice in Assessment, 8. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1062850.pdf

Bruff, D. (2013, August 19). Lessons learned from Vanderbilt’s first MOOCs. Blog post. Retrieved from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/2013/08/lessons-learned-from-vanderbilts-first-moocs/

Castillo, N. M., Lee, J., Zahra, F. T., & Wagner, D. A. (2015). MOOCS for development: Trends, challenges, and opportunities. Information Technologies & International Development, 11(2), 35. Retrieved from http://itidjournal.org/index.php/itid/article/view/1396

Christensen, G., Steinmetz, A., Alcorn, B., Bennett, A., Woods, D., & Emanuel, E. J. (2013). The MOOC phenomenon: Who takes massive open online courses and why? http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2350964

Daniel, J., Vázquez, E., & Gisbert, M. (2015). The Future of MOOCs: Adaptive Learning or Business Model? International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 12(1), 64-73. https://doi.org/10.7238/rusc.v12i1.2475

Freeman, P., & Robbins, A. (2006). The publishing gap between rich and poor: the focus of AuthorAID. Journal of Public Health Policy, 27(2), 196-203.

Garrido, M., Koepke, L., Andersen, S., Mena, A. F., Macapagal, M., & Dalvit, L. (2016). An examination of MOOC usage for professional workforce development outcomes in Colombia, the Philippines, & South Africa. Seattle: Technology & Social Change Group, University of Washington Information School.

Garrison, D. R. (2007). Online community of inquiry review: social, cognitive, and teaching presence issues. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(1), 61-72. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ842688

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (1999). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1096-7516(00)00016-6

Garrison, D. R., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2005). Facilitating cognitive presence in online learning: Interaction is not enough. The American Journal of Distance Education, 19(3), 133-148. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15389286ajde1903_2

Garrison, D. R., & Arbaugh, J. B. (2007). Researching the community of inquiry framework: Review, issues, and future directions. The Internet and Higher Education, 10(3), 157-172. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2007.04.001

Hill, P. (2013, September 16). MOOC discussion forums: Barrier to engagement? Blog post. Retrieved from http://mfeldstein.com/mooc-discussion-forums-barriers-engagement/

Ho, A. D., Chuang, I., Reich, J., Coleman, C., Whitehill, J., Northcutt, C., & Petersen, R. (2015). HarvardX and MITx: Two years of open online courses fall 2012 – summer 2014. HarvardX Working Paper No. 10. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2586847

Hollands, F. M., & Tirthali, D. (2014). MOOCs: expectations and reality. Full report. NY: Center for Benefit Cost Studies of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University.

Hostetter, C., & Busch, M. (2013). Community matters: Social presence and learning outcomes. Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 13(1), 11-86. Retrieved from http://josotl.indiana.edu/article/views/3268/3623

INASP (2016). INASP network of countries. Retrieved from http://www.inasp.info/en/network/

Jones, P. (2015, July 29). Predatory publishing isn’t the problem, it’s a symptom of information inequality. Perspectives. Retrieved from

https://www.digital-science.com/blog/perspectives/predatory-publishing-isnt-the-problem-its-a-symptom-of-information-inequality/

Jones, P., Naugle, K., & Kolloff, M. (2008, March 31). Teacher presence: Using introductory videos in online and hybrid courses. Learning Solutions Magazine. Retrieved from

https://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/107/teacher-presence-using-introductory-videos-in-online-and-hybrid-courses

Langer, A., Díaz-Olavarrieta, C., Berdichevsky, K., & Villar, J. (2004). Why is research from developing countries underrepresented in international health literature, and what can be done about it? Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 82(10), 802-803.

Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking university teaching. A conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies. London: Routledge.

Lee, Y., & Rofe, J. S. (2016). Paragogy and flipped assessment: Experience of designing and running a MOOC on research methods. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 31(2), 116-129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02680513.2016.1188690

Lieber, J. (2013). In the developing world, MOOCs start to get real. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/512256/in-the-developing-world-moocs-start-to-get-real

List of countries by Fragile States Index. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Fragile_States_Index

Liyanagunawardena, T. R., Williams, S., & Adams, A. A. (2013). The impact and reach of MOOCs: A developing countries’ perspective. eLearning Papers, 38-46. Retrieved from http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/32452/1/In-depth_33_1.pdf

Mayes, J. T., & Fowler, C. J. (1999). Learning technology and usability: a framework for understanding courseware. Interacting with Computers, 11(5), 485-497.

Meyer, K. A. (2003). Face-to-face versus threaded discussions: The role of time and higher-order thinking. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 7(3), 55-65.

Murugesan, R. (2012). Promising outcomes of an online course in research writing at a Rwandan university. European Science Editing, 38(3). Retrieved from https://arxiv.org/abs/1210.1709

Nagel, L., & Kotzé, T. G. (2010). Supersizing e-learning: What a CoI survey reveals about teaching presence in a large online class. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1-2), 45-51. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2009.12.001

Nobes, A. (2016a). Open access plays a vital role in developing-country research communication. Eon (9)2, 25. http://dx.doi.org/10.18243/eon/2016.9.2.8

Nobes, A. (2016b). AuthorAID – supporting early career researchers in developing countries. The Biochemist 38(5). Retrieved from http://www.biochemist.org/bio/03805/0039/038050039.pdf

Nchinda, T. C. (2002). Research capacity strengthening in the South. Social Science & Medicine, 54(11), 1699-1711.

Oblinger, D. (2014). Designed to engage. Educause Review, 49(5). Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2014/9/designed-to-engage

Owens, B. (2013). AuthorAID to add online courses for social scientists. SciDevNet. Retrieved from http://www.scidev.net/global/education/news/authoraid-to-add-online-courses-for-social-scientists.html

Patru, M., & Balaji, V. (2016). Making sense of MOOCs: A Guide for policy-makers in developing countries. Commonwealth of Learning Guides & Toolkits. Retrieved from http://dspace.col.org/handle/11599/2356

Padilla Rodríguez, B. C., Armellini, A., & Cáceres Villalba, V. C. (2016). Massive open online courses (MOOCs) behind the scenes. In Kirby, P. & Marks, G. (Eds.). Proceedings of Global Learn 2016 (pp. 359-366). Retrieved from http://nectar.northampton.ac.uk/8485/

Pan, G., Sen, S., Starrett, D. A., Bonk, C. J., Rodgers, M. L., Tikoo, M., & Powell, D. V. (2012). Instructor-made videos as a scaffolding tool. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 8(4), 298. Retrieved from http://jolt.merlot.org/vol8no4/pan_1212.htm

Ramirez, M. S. (2014). Training strategies in team teaching to facilitate the connection of learning in MOOC courses. In EDULEARN14 Proceedings (pp. 3052-3060).

Redfield, R. J. (2015). Putting my money where my mouth is: the Useful Genetics project. Trends in Genetics, 31(4), 195-200. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tig.2015.02.004

Salmon, G. (2011). E-moderating: The key to teaching and learning online (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Warusavitarana, P. A., Lokuge Dona, K., Piyathilake, H. C., Epitawela, D. D., & Edirisinghe, M. U. (2014). MOOC: a higher education game changer in developing countries. In Hegarty B., McDonald J., & Loke, S.-K. (Eds.), Rhetoric and Reality: Critical perspectives on educational technology. Proceedings ascilite Dunedin 2014 (pp. 359-366).

Wild, J., Murugesan, R., Schaeffler, V., & Powell, A. (2016). Bringing learning closer to the workplace: An online course for librarians in developing countries. Pan-Commonwealth Forum 8 (PCF8) Working Paper. Retrieved from http://oasis.col.org/handle/11599/2587

Wildavsky, B. (2015). MOOCs in the developing world: Hope or hype? International Higher Education, 80, 23-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.6017/ihe.2015.80.6154




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.9.1.476

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.