The following article lists areas of research interest to particular institutions and a list of publications.
The Open University
The Open University has a focus on research into the design and evaluation of learning at massive scale, through developing new methods of teaching, learning and assessment that improve with scale. We have active research into learning analytics for MOOCs, including analysis of social learning interactions, and predictive analytics to identify learners at risk of failure then offer appropriate interventions. We have specialist skills in producing and analysing surveys of learner experiences, and in evaluating accessibility of learning platforms. The overarching research themes are ‘Innovating Pedagogy’, ‘Learning Analytics’, ‘Learning in an Open World’ and ‘Knowledge Media‘. Some of our publications on MOOC research are here.
University of Groningen
The University of Groningen is among the European top in the field of academic research. We are successful because we apply fundamental academic research in an innovative way when dealing with social and individual problems. Our research on MOOC focuses on MOOC completion and drop-out in general and specifically on the predictive value of learning intentions. We are especially interested in gaining knowledge for improving the development of courses online, but also what lessons can be learned for our on-campus education.
University of Leeds
The Digital Learning Centre in the School of Education at the University of Leeds, and the central Digital Learning Team are involved in research relating to digital, online and blended learning generally and MOOCs in particular. The range of research interests are wide-ranging and include a focus on using learning analytics to explore who MOOC learners are, in terms of their demographics, motivations and how they behave in MOOCs. We are particularly interested in those MOOC learners who complete MOOCs , their motivations and their particular behaviours. For example, do they engage in social interaction with other learners in the discussions? The FutureLearn social constructivist approach emphasises the provision of opportunities for social interaction via discussions. We are currently carrying out detailed analysis of these discussions to learn more about who participates in this aspect of MOOCs and the impact this may have on the learning journey. Another central focus of our research is comparing multiple administrations of MOOCs to assess whether the audience is changing. We also have an interest in how cultural factors impact on technology and its take up in formal education settings.
University of Southampton
At Southampton a team of staff and students are developing the MOOC Observatory. This is a research group which provides a common space in which to share and analyse MOOC data. It is linked to the University’s Web Observatory which stores the data and provides a set of analytical tools. These resources allow researchers to answer questions about the Web, the users of the Web and the way that each affects the other. The aim of the MOOC Observatory is to develop an integrated toolset and data infrastructure that supports and enriches a community of practice for researchers engaged in MOOC-related research. As well as studying learner behaviour on the growing number of Southampton MOOCs, the team are also working in collaboration with other universities to investigate the bigger picture of MOOC developments and their impact on higher education.
DONALD, Claire Leonie; RAMSAY, Elizabeth; JOERG, Inken. Designing for Learning in a MOOC: A Pedagogical Model in Disguise. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 3, June 2017. ISSN 2051-9788. Available at: <https://jpaap.napier.ac.uk/index.php/JPAAP/article/view/287>.
Hudson, L., Kortuem, G., Annika, W. & Law, P. (2016). Smart Cities MOOC: Teaching citizens how to co-create smart cities. In: 4th International Conference on ICT for Sustainability (ICT4S), 29 August – 1 September 2016, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Available from http://oro.open.ac.uk/46951/
de Waard, I., Kukulska-Hulme, A., & Sharples, M. (2015). Self-directed learning in trial FutureLearn courses. Paper presented at EMOOCs 2015 conference. Available from https://www.academia.edu/12362560/Self-Directed_Learning_in_Trial_FutureLearn_courses
de Waard, I., Kukulska-Hulme, A., & Sharples, M. (forthcoming). Investigating Self-Directed Learning Dimensions: Adapting the Bouchard Framework. Paper accepted for publication in proceedings of ECTEL 2015 conference.
Elston, C. & Morris, N. (2015). Making MOOCs collaboratively: working effectively with stakeholders. Emoocs 2015 EXPERIENCE TRACK Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2015. pp.28-31. http://www.emoocs2015.eu/
Ferguson, R. and Whitelock, D. (2014). Taking on different roles: how educators position themselves in MOOCs. In: Rensing, Christopher; de Freitas, Sara; Ley, Tobias and Muñoz-Merino, Pedro J. eds., Open Learning and Teaching in Educational Communities. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (8719). Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 562–563.
Ferguson, R. & Sharples, M. (2014). Innovative pedagogy at massive scale: Teaching and learning in MOOCs. In C. Rensing, S. de Freitas, T. Ley & P. J. Muñoz- Merino (Eds.) Open Learning and Teaching in Educational Communities, proceedings of 9th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL 2014), Graz, Austria, September 16-19. Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 98-111. http://oro.open.ac.uk/40787/
Liyanagunawardena, T. R. (2015). Massive Open Online Courses. Humanities, 4. pp. 35-41.
Liyanagunawardena, T. R., Lundqvist, K. O. and Williams, S. A. (2015). Who are with us: MOOC learners on a FutureLearn course. British Journal of Educational Technology. (In Press) (Special issue on MOOCs)
Liyanagunawardena, T. R. (2014). MOOC experience: a participant’s reflection. ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society, 44 (1). pp. 9-14.
Liyanagunawardena, T. R., Parslow, P. and Williams, S. (2014) Dropout: MOOC participants’ perspective. In: EMOOCs 2014, the Second MOOC European Stakeholders Summit, 10-12 th February 2014, Lausanne, Switzerland, pp. 95-100.
Morris, NP, Livesey, S and Elston, C. (2014) First time MOOC provider: reflections from a research-intensive university in the UK. In: Cress, U and Delgado Kloos, C, (eds.) Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2014. European MOOC summit, 16-20 Feb 2014, Lausanne, Switzerland, 259 – 263 (4). http://www.emoocs2014.eu/
Morris, N. P., Hotchkiss, S. & Swinnerton, B. (2015). Can demographic information predict MOOC learner outcomes? Emoocs 2015 RESEARCH TRACK, Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2015. pp.199-207. http://www.emoocs2015.eu/
2017). Comments in MOOCs: who is doing the talking and does it help? Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 33: 51–64. doi: 10.1111/jcal.12165., , and (
Stokes, C.W., Towers, A.C., Jinks, P.V. & Symington, A. (2015). Discover Dentistry: encouraging wider participation in dentistry using a massive open online course (MOOC). British Dental Journal, 219, 81-15. http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v219/n2/full/sj.bdj.2015.559.html
Wright, A. (forthcoming). Exploring open learning: Perspectives on teaching practice in medical MOOCs. PhD dissertation in preparation.