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The emancipated learner? The tensions facing learners in massive, open learning

TitleThe emancipated learner? The tensions facing learners in massive, open learning
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsLittlejohn, A., & Hood N.
PublisherReconceptualising Learning in the Digital Age: The [Un]democratising Potential of MOOCs
Series TitleSpringerBriefs in Open and Distance Education
Chapter3
Pagination35–55
Date Published04/2018
Secondary PublisherSpringerBriefs in Education
Place PublishedSingapore
ISBN Number978-981-10-8893-3
Keywordslearner norms, learner types, MOOC learners
Abstract

MOOCs have the potential to challenge existing educational models. Paradoxically, they frequently reinforce educational conventions by requiring the learners to conform to expected norms of current educational models. Recent research has produced data on how learners engage in MOOCs. And yet, despite the extensive data, rather than freeing learners to chart their own pathways, MOOCs still require the learners to conform to expected norms. The very act of learning autonomously often causes tensions, most noticeably when learners choose to drop out, rather than complete a course as expected, or when they engage in MOOCs as mere observers, rather than active contributors. In this chapter, we explore how the emphasis on the individual as active and autonomous learner sometimes conflicts with the expectation that learners conform to accepted norms. This expectation that learners conform to accepted `ways of being' in a MOOC isolates those who plan their own pathway. The chapter concludes with a typology of different learners, arguing that, rather than adhering to a `type', each MOOC participant moves across these learner types, depending on their motivations, and may span different types, rather than falling into one single category.

URLhttps://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-8893-3_3
DOI10.1007/978-981-10-8893-3_3
Rights

© The Author(s) 2018

Refereed DesignationRefereed
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