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Russian perspectives of online learning technologies in higher education: An empirical study of a MOOC

TitleRussian perspectives of online learning technologies in higher education: An empirical study of a MOOC
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsLarionova, V., Brown K., Bystrova T., & Sinitsyn E.
PublisherResearch in Comparative and International Education
Start Page70
Pagination70 - 91
Date Published03/2018
Place PublishedEkaterinburg, Russia
Keywordsblended learning, educational process, empirical study, higher education, mass open online courses, Model of learning, MOOC, online learning

There has been a rapid growth of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in the global education market in the last decade. Online learning technologies are becoming increasingly widespread in the non-formal education sector and in higher and supplementary vocational education. The use of MOOCs in Russia to support the delivery of educational programmes at university level opens opportunities in terms of expanding the educational choice for students, the development of virtual academic mobility, reduction in the cost of educational services, and improvement in the accessibility of education. However, the effectiveness of using different online learning technologies at university level, and the consequences of their widespread adoption, has not been sufficiently explored. In this research study, a comparative analysis is made of the effects of different online learning models on student educational outcomes in a university setting. A study was undertaken in which different groups of students at the Ural Federal University, Russia, were encouraged to study technical and humanities disciplines using a framework of blended learning, and online learning with tutoring support. The results of the study were compared with the results of a reference (control) group of students who studied the same disciplines in a traditionally taught model. It was found that both models (blended and online) of MOOC implementation demonstrated greater learning gains, in comparison with the traditional model. For engineering and technical disciplines, there was no statistically significant difference between blended or online learning technologies. For the humanities discipline, where the communicative component of the learning process was significant, the blended learning technology produced better results. Conclusions of this empirical research may be useful for heads of educational organizations and teachers in helping them to make strategic decisions about the modernization of university courses by increasing the effectiveness of the implementation of new educational technologies. The results of this research project will be used for implementing the State Priority Project, ‘The Modern Digital Educational Environment of the Russian Federation’.


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Short TitleResearch in Comparative and International Education
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Total votes: 2