Supporting professional learning in a massive open online course

Colin Milligan, Allison Littlejohn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    Professional learning, combining formal and on the job learning, is important for the development and maintenance of expertise in the modern workplace. To integrate formal and informal learning, professionals have to have good self-regulatory ability. Formal learning opportunities are opening up through massive open online courses (MOOCs), providing free and flexible access to formal education for millions of learners worldwide. MOOCs present a potentially useful mechanism for supporting and enabling professional learning, allowing opportunities to link formal and informal learning. However, there is limited understanding of their effectiveness as professional learning environments. Using self-regulated learning as a theoretical base, this study investigated the learning behaviours of health professionals within Fundamentals of Clinical Trials, a MOOC offered by edX. Thirty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed to explore how the design of this MOOC supported professional learning to occur. The study highlights a mismatch between learning intentions and learning behaviour of professional learners in this course.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)197-213
    Number of pages17
    JournalInternational Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
    Volume15
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

    Fingerprint

    learning
    learning behavior
    informal learning
    mismatch
    health professionals
    learning environment
    expertise
    workplace
    ability
    interview
    education

    Keywords

    • MOOCs
    • self-regulated learning
    • massive open online courses
    • professional learning

    Cite this

    Milligan, C., & Littlejohn, A. (2014). Supporting professional learning in a massive open online course. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 15(5), 197-213.
    Milligan, Colin ; Littlejohn, Allison. / Supporting professional learning in a massive open online course. In: International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 2014 ; Vol. 15, No. 5. pp. 197-213.
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    Milligan, C & Littlejohn, A 2014, 'Supporting professional learning in a massive open online course', International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 197-213.

    Supporting professional learning in a massive open online course. / Milligan, Colin; Littlejohn, Allison.

    In: International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Vol. 15, No. 5, 11.2014, p. 197-213.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - Littlejohn, Allison

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    AB - Professional learning, combining formal and on the job learning, is important for the development and maintenance of expertise in the modern workplace. To integrate formal and informal learning, professionals have to have good self-regulatory ability. Formal learning opportunities are opening up through massive open online courses (MOOCs), providing free and flexible access to formal education for millions of learners worldwide. MOOCs present a potentially useful mechanism for supporting and enabling professional learning, allowing opportunities to link formal and informal learning. However, there is limited understanding of their effectiveness as professional learning environments. Using self-regulated learning as a theoretical base, this study investigated the learning behaviours of health professionals within Fundamentals of Clinical Trials, a MOOC offered by edX. Thirty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed to explore how the design of this MOOC supported professional learning to occur. The study highlights a mismatch between learning intentions and learning behaviour of professional learners in this course.

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    Milligan C, Littlejohn A. Supporting professional learning in a massive open online course. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 2014 Nov;15(5):197-213.