MOOCs: Innovation or Stagnation?

Aysegul SALLI

Issues of the phenomenon of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and its integration into current online and campus education to enhance higher education quality in universities is gaining importance. This large scale form of online education has the potential to escalate the reputations of universities and increase the global access to their institutions. However, the design and implementation of MOOCs is not easy. Thus, many higher education institutions take time for careful consideration before running them. Otherwise, this new online learning phenomenon, which is also called disruptive innovation, might cause some unintended negative economical and reputational results. This study aimed to examine the strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities and threats of MOOCs in higher education. The data from the document analysis was examined by SWOT method to put insights on MOOCs internal and external standing. The electronic data including books, research reports, conference papers, journal articles, blog posts, discussion boards, and web forms were considered as a sample of the study. The findings show that accessibility, lifelong learning and brand extensions are some of the strengths of MOOCs, whereas dropout rates, poor pedagogy and low-quality assessments are major barriers for their effectiveness. Alternative education and collaborative learning are some of the outstanding opportunities MOOCs present, which worth the efforts to create more democratic and innovative higher education. Results indicated that it is worth to explore the ways to improve the completion rates, weak pedagogical structure, degree provision, quality insurance and assessment as well as to discover the needs of new generation in online learning.

KEYWORDS: Connectivism, disruptive, higher education, Massive Open Online Courses, novelty, SWOT.