Social and Affective Presence to Achieve Quality Learning in MOOCs
Abstract: The proliferation of Information and Communications Technology in recent years has changed the educational landscape. It has added to the complexity of our lives and aided in the creation of a plethora of new opportunities for learning. New learning technologies are emerging outside formal education and academics, and technologists are experimenting with these in formal and informal settings. We are thus persuaded to question how pragmatic views of learning and social constructivist principles developed in formal education would be meaningful in more informal learning settings, such as on open learning networks, including the currently developing Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). This paper reports on research pertaining to social presence and affective issues in MOOCs. The paper will highlight findings related to learning experiences during a Massive Open Online Course, PLENK2010, in 2010 and question the current drive by major North American institutions of Higher Education to take a centralised approach and deliver MOOCs through a transfer-of-knowledge model reminiscent of traditional courses of Higher Education.
Presider: Lisa A. Capan, The Community College of Baltimore County