The salient components of massive open online courses (moocs) as revealed in scholarly publications
İkinci, Arzu Sibel
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The aim of this thesis is to determine the salient components of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as revealed in scholarly publications. Drawing the attention of leading universities around the world, MOOCs are new distance education (DE) phenomena. It is expected that the number of students applying for higher education will be increasing 62.7% by the year 2025, however, the number of institutions is not accelerating at a fast enough pace to meet the demand. Due to their constantly expanding young population, developing countries like Turkey consider DE as a potential solution to this growing demand. Some educationists and governments have confirmed that education could become more flexible if a technological infrastructure were applied to life-long learning programs and short term certificate programs. This thesis utilizes the content analysis research method and a thematic network analytic tool to identify the salient components of MOOCs as revealed in scholarly publications for the benefit of university stakeholders. According to the research questions, all the themes related to MOOCs were explored and were examined with a wide perspective. Only peer reviewed journal articles were selected through stratified sampling and coded to collect qualitative data in Nvivo 10. Well-known procedures were followed to provide rigor in this research. Truth-value, applicability, consistency and neutrality were the four major measures utilized for the validity and reliability of this thesis. The findings of the thesis were summarized in terms of eight global themes, 22 organizing themes, and 71 basic themes. These themes constitute a unique framework for the literature and for the stakeholders of MOOCs. The themes and their descriptions can guide individuals and institutions (like universities and organizations) thinking about participating in and/or developing a MOOC course. Individuals or institutional leaders can be made aware of all the aspects of MOOCs as discussed in scholarly publications to gain a holistic view prior to embarking on their own decision process. Thus, some of the pitfalls of early MOOCs can be avoided.
KeywordsMassive Open Online Course
Open education sources
Thematic network analytic tool