This study sets out to answer the question: how can we know what learning is taking place in MOOCs? From this starting point, the study then looks to identify MOOCs’ potential for future use in HE?
Using a specially-adapted version of the HEA’s UK Engagement Survey (UKES) 2014, the research team at the University of Southampton asked participants who had completed one of two MOOCs delivered through the FutureLearn platform and designed and run at the university about their experiences as learners and their engagement with their respective MOOC.
The results also show that both of the MOOCs were successful in enabling many participants to feel engaged in intellectual endeavours such as forming new understandings, making connections with previous knowledge and experience, and exploring knowledge actively, creatively and critically. In response to the open access approach – in which no one taking part in a MOOC is required to have a minimum level of previous educational achievement - the report shows that persistent learners engaged, regardless of prior educational attainment.