Research into MOOCs – massive, open, online courses – is proliferating as they become increasingly popular in the UK.
The study reported here sought in-depth accounts of learning on a MOOC from ten people who completed one of the University of Southampton’s first two such courses during 2014. Its goal is to better understand their motivations for studying in this way, and the learning opportunities and problems they encountered. Findings were discussed with five academics involved in leading, developing and teaching on the MOOCs in order to explore issues from both perspectives. Given the small-scale nature of the project no specific recommendations are made as a result of it. Instead, the final paragraphs offer reflections from the project team about how the research is likely to impact their own practice in the future, and suggestions about how learners might make the most of the opportunities MOOCs offer.