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Who are with us: MOOC learners on a FutureLearn course

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British Journal of Educational Technology Volume 46, Number 3, ISSN 0007-1013 e-ISSN 0007-1013 Publisher: Wiley


Massive open online courses (MOOCs) attract learners with a variety of backgrounds. Engaging them using game development was trialled in a beginner's programming course, “Begin programming: build your first mobile game,” on FutureLearn platform. The course has completed two iterations: first in autumn 2013 and second in spring 2014 with thousands of participants. This paper explores the characteristics of learner groups attracted by these two consecutive runs of the course and their perceptions of the course using pre- and post-course surveys. Recommendations for practitioners are offered, including when the audience is different to the one expected. A MOOC is unlikely to please everyone, especially with such large cohorts. Nevertheless, this course, using game development as a vehicle to teach programming, seems to have offered a balanced learning experience to a diverse group of learners. However, MOOC creators and facilitators should accept that a course cannot be made to please everyone and try to communicate clearly who the intended audience for the course are.


Liyanagunawardena, T.R., Lundqvist, K.Ø. & Williams, S.A. (2015). Who are with us: MOOC learners on a FutureLearn course. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(3), 557-569. Wiley. Retrieved November 26, 2020 from .