Designing for the unknown learner

Hamish Macleod, Jeff Haywood, Amy Woodgate, Christine Sinclair

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


University teachers are faced with the problem of “knowing” their learners when teaching on a MOOC. This paper explores what the University of Edinburgh has come to know about its recent MOOC participants, highlighting one particular course described by some participants as “a cMOOC on an xMOOC platform”. The paper draws attention to barriers and enablers from co-existent understandings and expectations of course design, and from an abundance of highly-qualified participants. Demographic data suggest areas worthy of further exploration.
Characteristics of people who claim to have found the MOOC a positive experience are compared with those who have not. Mixed messages about teacher presence may have implications that go beyond MOOCs. The authors contemplate whether MOOCs engender a “cohort effect”, or whether the participant group should better be thought of as a single massive multivocal entity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit 2014
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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