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Slides presented at OpenEd14 on the socio-ethical stances of massive online open learning.

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  1. 1. Perceptions of socio-ethical stances surrounding MOOCs Dr Vivien Rolfe & David Kernohan creative commons (BY NC SA) flickr photo shared by Michael Grimes
  2. 2. Perceptions of socio-ethical stances surrounding MOOCs OpenEd14 Conference Washington DC Wednesday, November 19 11:00am - 11:30am Dr Vivien Rolfe & David Kernohan creative commons (BY NC SA) flickr photo shared by Michael Grimes
  3. 3. Free online courses and social responsibility toward learners. A systematic literature and blogature review. Dr Vivien Rolfe @VivienRolfe National Teacher Fellow Science Open Educator CC BY Vivien Rolfe
  4. 4. Why this question? • What is the academic and ethical stance surrounding massive online online courses? (Rolfe, OpenEd 2013)
  5. 5. Privacy? “Assuming you have the right tech, you’ll also have to be comfortable with being tracked and monitored.” “There will be no private, “safe” spaces for learning.”
  6. 6. Inclusion? “And what does “primarily free” mean? MOOCs are only available to people with excellent broadband internet access and fast computers” “Drop out rates. But what about the drop outs?”
  7. 7. Academic / digital literacies? “I would hate to see people get a bad taste of university because there's just too many students in there to get personal attention.” “The question is if students without the literacies required to take a Higher Education degree are able to succeed”
  8. 8. Are ethics important? A teacher builded a temple With loving an infinite care, Planning each arch with patience, Laying each tone with prayer. None praised her unceasing efforts, None knew of her wondrous plan, For the temple the teacher builded Was unseen by the eyes of man. (Myer Pearlman 1940)
  9. 9. Agitations about the plight of the educationally underprivileged abound, but few bother to reflect much about the nature of what they are missing. Tackling issues to do with ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’ may therefore provide an approach to the ethical foundations of education. (Peters 1971)
  10. 10. Systematic literature review Iterative searches • 6 online databases, Google Scholar • “Similar articles” Keywords • cMOOX*, xMOOC*, massive online open courses, social responsibility, ethics, diversity, accessibility…… • NOT molybdenum (MoOCl) • NOT “Minnie the Moocher” Analysis • Data extracted onto spreadsheet Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
  11. 11. October 2013 October 2014 Phase 1 exclusion Phase 2 exclusion (Rolfe 2014, systematic review, in press)
  12. 12. Methods (learner analytics) – predicting learner participation (n=6) Methods (analytics, survey) – learner behaviour, attrition, collaboration (n=12) Methods (survey) – learner perceptions (n=5) Quality of MOOCs (empirical studies) - quality of content, learning, assesment (n=3) New pedagogies - ‘Flipped’ classrooms with MOOCs, mobile MOOCs, connected / networked learning (n=5) Inclusion and literacies – inclusion, exclusion (n=2); literacies (n=1) Learner diversity – demographics (n=7); diversity and autonomy, cultural diversity (n=5) Privacy? Intellectual property? Accessibility?
  13. 13. Aim The present research uses phenomenological approaches to explore more fully people’s perceptions of these socio-ethical dimensions. The aim of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is to explore in detail how participants are making sense of their personal and social world (Smith & Osborne 2007).
  14. 14. Methods • Gained university ethical approval. • Semi-structured interviews engaging 7 participants (academics, non-academics, senior managers, psychologist, technologist) in dialogue about ethics. Longest interview = 50 minutes! • Recorded and transcribed (by Viv). • Copying of key ideas / themes into Excel. • Coding by Viv + independent researcher (David). • Clustering of themes agreed (Viv + David).
  15. 15. Quality - “It is massively variable of what they are trying to achieve and the quality of the content”. Lack of discourse - “If you are really saying that you want the open web to in some way blend work with higher education as a whole then we should be having these conversations”. Ethics - “I suspect a lot of it is they are not aware of what the ethical issues are”. Learner experience - “You have nothing that creates a common sense of “this is how you learn together”. You just throw people in and they either swim or they bugger off”. Privacy - “If we don’t think the companies won’t exploit the data around education in a different way, we are also acting stupidly”.
  16. 16. Rolfe 2014, Book chapter in press! Diagram on Flickr.
  17. 17. Conclusions There are a number of ethical dimensions and sub-dimensions relevant to open learners that have been identified by a systematic review of the literature and and analysis of interview data. The technological innovations that have given rise to MOOCs and the new pedagogical ideas that are emerging are redefining educational possibilities. Developments are outpacing our critical thinking and evidence base. This work provides a framework for future research. There are many gaps in our understanding of the experience of open learners – those who participate, and those who ‘drop out’. More work will ensure everyone gains access to a socially inclusive and equitable learning experience, as we would expect of campus-based study.
  18. 18. “We have a professional and social obligation to ensure that we are not abusing a position of trust and responsibility and acting, irrespectively of our wider goals and intentions, in an unethical manner” (Marshall, 2014, p. 2).
  19. 19. References Marshall, S. (2014). Exploring the ethical implications of MOOCs. Distance Education, 35(2), (pp. 250-262). doi:10.1080/01587919.2014.917706 Morrison, J. L., & Khan, B. H. (2003). The global e-learning framework: An interview with Badrul Khan. The Technology Source, May/June 2003. Available online at Peters, R. S. (1971). Ethics and education. London: Unwin University Books. Rolfe V. (2013) MOOCs and social responsibility toward learners. In OPEN-ED Open Education 2013. Utah, Park City, November 2013. toward-learners/ Smith, J.A. & Osborn, M. (2003) Interpretative phenomenological analysis. In J.A. Smith (Ed.), Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Methods. London: Sage.
  20. 20. Thank you! For further information, OER and research go to: • Papers in press. Like buses, none for ages and then all come at once.