Motivations, Achievements, and Challenges of Self-Directed Informal Learners in Open Educational Environments and MOOCs
This research targeted the learning preferences, goals and motivations, achievements, challenges, and possibilities for life change of self-directed online learners enrolled in a massive open online course (MOOC) related to online teaching hosted by Blackboard using CourseSites. Data collection included a 40-item survey, of which 159 MOOC respondents completed the close-ended survey items and 49 completed the 15 open-ended survey items. Across the data, it is clear that self-directed online learners are internally motivated and appreciate the freedom to learn and the choice that open educational resources provide. People were also motivated to learn informally from personal curiosity and interest as well as professional growth needs and goals for self-improvement. Identity as a learner was positively impacted by informal online learning pursuits. Foreign language skills as well as global, cultural, historical, environmental, and health-related information were among the most desired by the survey respondents. The main obstacles to informal online learning were time, costs associated with technology use, difficulty of use, and lack of quality. Qualitative results, embedded in the findings, indicate that self-directed learners take great pleasure in knowing that they do not have to rely on others for their learning needs. Implications for instructional designers are offered.
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Creating Open Online Courses with Learner Representative Partners to Widen Participation in Higher Education Coughlan, Tim; Goff, Jenny (Commonwealth of Learning (COL), 2019-07)Open online courses could provide stepping stones for audiences that are under-represented in higher education (HE). However, there are concerns that these instead proliferate forms of exclusion and do not address known ...
Newman, Mairette (Commonwealth of Learning (COL), 2019-03)In compiling over 180 cases of successful open and distance non-formal education (ODL NFE) interventions from across the developing world, the late Colin Latchem, author of Open and distance non-formal education in ...
Ostashewski, Nathaniel; Howell, Jennifer; Dron, Jon (Commonwealth of Learning (COL), 2017-07)Since 2012 MOOCs have been heralded as a new way of learning outside of formal university programs of study and there has been much speculation regarding their impact. While MOOCs have provided millions of global learners ...
Distance Learner's Perspective on User-Friendly Instructional Materials at the University of Zambia Simui, F; Thompson, L C; Mundende, K; Mwewa, G; Kakana, F; Chishiba, A; Namangala, B (Commonwealth of Learning (COL), 2017-03)This case study focuses on print-based instructional materials available to distance education learners at the University of Zambia. Using the Visual Paradigm Software, we model distance education learners’ voices into ...
Positioning extension Massive Open Online Courses (xMOOCs) within the open access and the lifelong learning agendas in a developing setting Nkuyubwatsi, Bernard (Commonwealth of Learning (COL), 2016)Recent reports on xMOOCs indicated that underprivileged learners in need for higher education have minimally been reached by these courses. While the open access agenda is needed to reach such learners, most MOOCs were ...