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Broad online learning EdTech and USA universities : symbiotic relationships in a post-MOOC world

Thomas, Duncan A. and Nedeva, Maria LU (2018) In Studies in Higher Education 43(10). p.1730-1749
Abstract

From 2012 USA universities entered new partnerships with private sector companies including Silicon Valley start-up Coursera. Coursera spearheads a new broad online learning segment of the fast growing global ‘educational technology’ (EdTech) sector. They offered free ‘massive open online courses’ (MOOCs) for global, universal learner audiences. Since 2015 several USA universities and Coursera expanded into ‘post-MOOC’, paid, accredited online modules and full degrees. We frame these post-MOOC developments as shaped by dynamic EdTech/university relationships and argue universities have been actively, and willingly, re-shaping higher education with EdTech; they are not passive victims of a potentially disruptive global ‘MOOC phenomenon’.... (More)

From 2012 USA universities entered new partnerships with private sector companies including Silicon Valley start-up Coursera. Coursera spearheads a new broad online learning segment of the fast growing global ‘educational technology’ (EdTech) sector. They offered free ‘massive open online courses’ (MOOCs) for global, universal learner audiences. Since 2015 several USA universities and Coursera expanded into ‘post-MOOC’, paid, accredited online modules and full degrees. We frame these post-MOOC developments as shaped by dynamic EdTech/university relationships and argue universities have been actively, and willingly, re-shaping higher education with EdTech; they are not passive victims of a potentially disruptive global ‘MOOC phenomenon’. Our argument builds on interviews at six highly committed USA universities and at Coursera. These reveal rationales for post-MOOC developments related to: actions and attitudes of university actors; university resources; differing teaching subject areas; and exclusivity and longevity in relationships. We suggest that post-MOOC EdTech/university relationships are symbiotic, with three possible variants: commensal (neutral); mutualistic (positive); and parasitic (negative). We finally question whether current relationships may yet change from largely mutualistic to parasitic, given the apparent ambitions of Coursera and the wider global EdTech sector.

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author
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organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Coursera, EdTech, MOOCs, symbiotic relationships, Universities
in
Studies in Higher Education
volume
43
issue
10
pages
20 pages
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:85056084993
ISSN
0307-5079
DOI
10.1080/03075079.2018.1520415
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d2fad4bf-01a9-422c-82e1-73b9e7eed2b3
date added to LUP
2018-11-22 13:56:31
date last changed
2021-10-06 01:53:53
@article{d2fad4bf-01a9-422c-82e1-73b9e7eed2b3,
  abstract     = {<p>From 2012 USA universities entered new partnerships with private sector companies including Silicon Valley start-up Coursera. Coursera spearheads a new broad online learning segment of the fast growing global ‘educational technology’ (EdTech) sector. They offered free ‘massive open online courses’ (MOOCs) for global, universal learner audiences. Since 2015 several USA universities and Coursera expanded into ‘post-MOOC’, paid, accredited online modules and full degrees. We frame these post-MOOC developments as shaped by dynamic EdTech/university relationships and argue universities have been actively, and willingly, re-shaping higher education with EdTech; they are not passive victims of a potentially disruptive global ‘MOOC phenomenon’. Our argument builds on interviews at six highly committed USA universities and at Coursera. These reveal rationales for post-MOOC developments related to: actions and attitudes of university actors; university resources; differing teaching subject areas; and exclusivity and longevity in relationships. We suggest that post-MOOC EdTech/university relationships are symbiotic, with three possible variants: commensal (neutral); mutualistic (positive); and parasitic (negative). We finally question whether current relationships may yet change from largely mutualistic to parasitic, given the apparent ambitions of Coursera and the wider global EdTech sector.</p>},
  author       = {Thomas, Duncan A. and Nedeva, Maria},
  issn         = {0307-5079},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {1730--1749},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Studies in Higher Education},
  title        = {Broad online learning EdTech and USA universities : symbiotic relationships in a post-MOOC world},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2018.1520415},
  doi          = {10.1080/03075079.2018.1520415},
  volume       = {43},
  year         = {2018},
}