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Unpacking MOOC Scholarly Discourse: A Review of Nascent MOOC Scholarship


Learning, Media and Technology Volume 39, Number 3, ISSN 1743-9884


The rapid rise of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) signals a shift in the ways in which digital teaching and learning are engaged in and understood. Drawing upon a comprehensive search of nine leading academic databases, this paper examines the initial phase of MOOC scholarship (2009-2013), and offers an analysis of these empirical studies that conceptualizes themes in MOOC scholarship and locates them within a chronological framework. Two key phases of scholarship about MOOCs are identified, each with associated research imperatives and themes. Phase One: Connectivist MOOCs, Engagement and Creativity 2009-2011/2012. Themes of Phase One include: development of Connectivism as a learning theory, and technological experimentation and innovation in early cMOOCs. Phase Two: xMOOCs, Learning Analytics, Assessment, and Critical Discourses about MOOCs 2012-2013. Themes of Phase Two include: the rise of xMOOCs, further development of MOOC pedagogy and platforms, growth of learning analytics and assessment, and the emergence of a critical discourse about MOOCs.


Ebben, M. & Murphy, J.S. (2014). Unpacking MOOC Scholarly Discourse: A Review of Nascent MOOC Scholarship. Learning, Media and Technology, 39(3), 328-345. Retrieved January 16, 2022 from .

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