Thursday, March 13, 2014

"MOOL" In A MOOC ...

The discussion around, and analysis of, massive open online courses (or MOOCs) continues to grow and develop. Educators unfamiliar with MOOCs, their hosts, structures, benefits, and challenges will find this article helpful for gaining understanding of this on-trend form of distance learning and course delivery. Furthermore, the author proposes that the potential for librarianship within MOOCs should also be considered. Much of the relevant literature from the fields of education, librarianship, information science, and academia at large, reviewed here, have not delved too deeply into the concept of librarianship within this setting (yet). In an effort to discover MOOC faculty opinions, challenges, and incentives for MOOC creation and participation, as well as their thoughts on librarians in MOOCs, the author developed a survey. This survey aimed to assess: (1) the costs and benefits experienced by faculty teaching MOOCs; (2) perceived/anticipated student and learning environment successfulness within MOOCs; and (3) the extent faculty engage with their institution’s librarians. Additionally, the survey approached MOOC faculty regarding whether they envision a future for librarians within MOOCs and what that future might look like. This article closes with discussion on survey findings, suggestions for future research, hypotheses regarding the future of MOOCs, and opportunities for a “MOOL” in a MOOC.

Keywords: MOOCs; massive open online courses; nontraditional education programs; open source education programs; online learning; distance learning; information literacy; media literacy; instructional technologies; higher education; e-learning; librarianship; copyright; open access.

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