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Moocs in the news: The real story behind the Irish story


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This paper describes a case study of how MOOCs have been reported through the Irish media. A brief description of previous research on the portrayal of MOOCs in the international media is outlined and the unique Irish story is then presented framed around a number of overarching research questions: Who is telling the MOOC story and why? What story is being told? How is the story being told? Whose story is not being told? Specifically the study investigates how the MOOC phenomenon has been portrayed in Irish newspapers. A brief description of the research design is given before reporting key findings, which include a number of interesting developments in the Irish context. In telling the Irish story the paper contributes to the wider debate over the long-term future of open and online learning in the higher education landscape. The key lesson arising from the research is that the MOOC movement is not on an independent trajectory, as it needs to be understood as part of social practice.

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Moocs in the news: The real story behind the Irish story

  1. 1. MOOCs in the News The ‘Real’ Story Behind the Irish Story 28th April 2016 – Global Learn Conference, Limerick
  2. 2. Dublin City University • National Institute for Digital Learning • Research and Development • EU projects: Home and SCORE2020
  3. 3. “A story is never just a story – it is a statement of belief and of morality” (Pinar, 2014). MOOCs in the News Pinar, W. (2014). Curriculum: Toward new identities. London: Routledge.
  4. 4. Why? “The National Strategy for Higher Education recommends that if Ireland is to raise levels of lifelong learning and higher education attainment, more is needed in terms of increased flexibility and innovation, broader routes of access and a model of funding that supports all students equally, regardless of mode or duration of study” (HEA, 2012, p.6).
  5. 5. What we know
  6. 6.
  7. 7. • Who is telling the MOOC story? • What story is being told? • How is the story being told? • Whose story is not being told? • Whose interests are being served by the story? Research Questions
  8. 8. About the Study • Methodology • Media Sources • Discourse Analysis Protocol - 20 Analysis Items - Descriptive | Interpretative - Revolutionary | Evolutionary - Major Drivers
  9. 9. n = 77
  10. 10. 97% 3% Type of Reporting Descriptive Investigative
  11. 11. 2% 20% 78% Stance Adopted Negative Neutral Positive
  12. 12. Revolution 35% Evolution 18% Minimal 12% Not Stated 35% Level of Disruption
  13. 13. Elite 73% Non Elite 27% Institutional Status
  14. 14. Completionrates MOOCLab (2016) UK MOOC Report Course length
  15. 15. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Fear of Missing Out Institutional Branding Increase Student Recruitment Extend Access Reduce Costs Generate Revenue Unbundling of Services Innovation Curriculum Renewal Industry Training Supporting Student Readiness Promote Research Not Stated Major Drivers
  16. 16. Thank you Questions?