Effects of Blended MCOOs

EFFECTS OF BLENDED MCOOS 7

Effectsof Blended MCOOs

Effectsof Blended MCOOs

Issuespertaining to education and learning have always been controversialgiven the correlation of the same with the economic wellbeing of anynation. Indeed, it has been well noted that education has a bearingon the quality of life that individuals lead, given the fact thatresearch has demonstrated that the higher the level of education, thehigher the likely earning potential. Unfortunately, education andlearning is always faced by numerous and immense challenges, withvaried techniques for surmounting the same being created. This is thecase for MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses, the free and openonline courses that some of the leading universities offer (Carr,2012). While MOOCs offered immense benefits, it was recognized thatthere were varied challenges to the exploitation of their fullpotential. First, numerous students struggled with the xMOOC formatanonymity. Further, companies and schools are looking for businessmodels that not only deliver quality but also sustainable education(LaMartinna, 2013). This gave rise to blended MOOCs, which useflipped classroom model where students take MOOC that has beenobtained from off-campus elite institutions and still meet with localfaculty in class for group projects, discussions, lab-work andproblem-solving. This provides more peer and faculty support, whilealso eliminating certification and assessment issues pertaining tostand-alone MOOCs (LaMartinna, 2013).

Thereare varied benefits that come with blended MOOCs. First, blendedMOOCs allow for enhanced engagement between learners and the faculty,thereby eliminating the deficiency of human interaction prevalent intraditional learning and MOOCs. In addition, blended MOOCs eliminatethe problem of deficiency of information pertaining to the progressof the students that comes with online learning (Hill, 2012)(Laurillard, 2011). In the traditional MOOCs, students only have toget the materials and read, after which they sit for exams(Laurillard, 2012) (Duderstadt, 2012). This means that there would beno telling whether they are facing difficulties in particular areasor even how far they have gone with regard to particular subjects(Rodriguez, 2012) (Di &amp Jaggars, 2013). Blended MOOCs allowstudents and faculty to interact in which case it becomes possible todetermine how far the student is regarding certain topics (Gilbert &ampFlores-Zambada, 2011). Further, blended MOOCs is student-centeredrather than teacher centered, in which case it ensures that thelearning is customized to suit the learning needs of the student.

Moreover,blended MOOCs allows for the improvement of lifelong learning skills.Scholars have acknowledged that participation in blended MOOCs forcesstudents to think about their own learning, as well as knowledgeabsorption (Laurillard, 2013) (Levine, 2013). It enables participantsto pursue certain interests or persist in their professionaldevelopment (Means et al, 2010) (Henderikx, 2014). On the same note,blended MOOCs is crafted in a manner that allows for increasedstudent engagement since the improvement of student outcomes is afundamental goal of the same (Rob et al, 2013) (Lawrence et al,2012). Scholars have defined student engagement as the investment ofeffort and time alongside other relevant resources by the institutionand the students (Derek et al, 2013), with the aim of optimizing theexperience of the latter and enhance their development and learningoutcomes, as well as the former’s reputation and performance(Kolowich, 2013) (Barbara et al, 2010).

Lastly,blended MOOCs allows for enhanced accessibility, which is quitelimited in the case of the traditional learning. Indeed, scholarshave acknowledged that the online MOOCs format comes with increasedflexibility and access that eliminates the necessity forprerequisites (Trowler &amp Trowler, 2010) (Leber, 2013). Researchhas shown that the blended MOOCs democratizes higher education evenin nations that have the lowest access(William et al, 2012)(Bouchard, 2011) (Stone &amp Perumean-Chaney, 2011). This is evenmore enhanced by the fact that they are not restricted toprofessionals and/or college students but also younger students.

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