Recognising learner autonomy: Lessons and reflections from a joint x/c MOOC

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 38: Learning for Life and Work in a Complex World

July, 2015, 528 pages
Published by
T. Thomas, E. Levin, P. Dawson, K. Fraser & R. Hadgraft

Higher Education Institutions are increasingly called upon to provide more flexible student learning pathways – in degree programs as well as through the introduction of methods for micro-credentialing. However, the rhetoric of establishing such open and personalised learning pathways is far easier than the reality of implementation and organisational change. For instance, universities have long struggled to break away from the “credit hour” even while learners are being challenged to be more independent in their learning choices and education needs. The intent of this paper is to explore new models of education that embrace open learning pathways for lifelong learning and productive participation in the information age. The paper draws on the recent research and experiences gained from running a simultaneous xMOOC and cMOOC (a dual layer MOOC) using newly developed software based on the principles of student self- regulated learning. The software, ProSOLO, links a user’s nominated learning goals and experiences directly with their achievement of stated competencies. This process provides learners with greater autonomy in their study by removing the rigidity of more traditional education programs and offers new models of micro-credentialing.

Keywords: MOOCs, self-regulated learning, connectivism