Combining MOOCs and Virtual Worlds to Foster Collaboration between Worldwide Learners
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) represent a novel pedagogical approach of delivering business education in the digital age (Whitaker, New, & Ireland, 2016). By providing pedagogical materials (e.g., lecture slides and video recordings) online, MOOCs have empowered individuals, who are dispersed globally, to learn independently at their own pace. MOOCs have been called a major disruptive innovation that could drastically transform the future of education that has otherwise remained stagnant over the last decades.
However, the euphoria surrounding MOOCs has decreased due to several challenges for participants, which leads to low retention and a notable decline in participants’ enrollment over time (Reich & Ruipérez-Valiente, 2019). A core challenge for MOOC participants is the absence or the limited social interaction and communication with the educator and peer learners (Brahimi & Sarirete, 2015).
Virtual world technologies can be embedded in online learning courses to provide a more interactive, collaborative and three-dimensional environment for learners (Baldi & Lopes, 2012). Virtual world technologies can be a way to overcome social isolation in MOOC courses and to make learning more interactive. Research about the integration of virtual worlds in MOOCs and their influence on learning, retention in MOOCs and collaboration is scarce.
Funded by: ScAIEM (Scandinavian Academy of Industrial Engineering and Management)
Time period: 2020-2021
Project members: KTH, DTU
Project contact persons:
Kathrin Kirchner, DTU
- Established research collaboration in the field of combining MOOCs and virtual worlds: Definition of a new research topic based on the expertise of both research partners
- Disseminated first research results via a journal paper and at ScAIEM 2021
- Decided future collaboration: evaluated options for common research proposals, common PhD students, further publications and possible integration of new research partners