57% of students learn more from MOOCs than from lectures! – DRAFT of forthcoming book chapter

Here is a preview of the DRAFT version of the chapter to be published in Trends and Good Practices in Research and Teaching: A Spanish-English Collaboration, due for publication this year.

Responding to the Networked Student – the integration of MOOCs into on-campus HE modules-DRAFT

It reports on research conducted into two MOOC integration models. The research aimed to explore student attitudes towards MOOC integration for their learning and the impact MOOC integration has on student achievement.

Summary of Findings

The findings suggest that regardless of the integration model, students value the MOOC as a convenient, flexible and accessible way to study where and when they choose.

More importantly, the students report that the primary value of an integrated MOOC is that it helps them to understand the module content more deeply. This is due to a combination of the use of multimedia resources, the increased global and local opportunities to interact with a community of interested others, and the fact that it is not a lecture (57% of students reported learning more from MOOCs than from lectures – raising some interesting questions for HE teaching & learning!).

However, there remains a small number of students who, despite programmes of support, do not respond positively to MOOC integration, instead considering it to have little or no benefit to their learning or to be a waste of time.

The findings also indicate that while the Revision integration model led to a three percent increase in the module grade average (from 59% to 62%) and a doubling in the number of firsts awarded, the same was not the case for the Full Integration model.

This may have been due to the fact that inadequate account had been taken of the specific context of that module and insufficient MOOC and digital literacies support was provided. Equally, it may indicate that the integration model matters, with MOOCs being used to reinforce the learning gained during traditional face-to-face lectures being the most effective integration model.


As always – any comments, criticisms or collaborations welcome.

A research blog for developing a framework for understanding Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)

Today’s networked, self-regulating learner has an autonomously and organically created network of connections which they grow, manage and activate for specific purposes in specific ways. Learners have established preferences over the devices, software and activation patterns that best suit their learning contexts. This network includes:

  • human contacts,
  • technological devices,
  • social networks,
  • professional and academic networks,
  • gaming networks,
  • personal blogs,
  • email networks……… and more.

The emerging research field of Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) considers all these networks and preferences as component networks within a single personal learning resource which needs to be fully described and explained before PLNs can become a powerful addition to teaching and learning.