BBC Sounds: The Documentary: MOOCs

BBC Sounds Podcast: Click to access podcast

Some key takeaways from the podcast:-

“Could these new free online university courses open higher education up to parts of the world in a way that’s been unthinkable up until now, or are MOOCs an experiment that could destroy centuries of tradition?”

Amazing fact – at Harvard more people have signed up to its MOOCs than have graduated in its 300 year history!!

Liked on YouTube: The Online Community-A New Paradigm: Mark Wills at TEDxSanLuisObispo



Lister (2009) attempts to define the meaning of ‘online community’ in the context of an environment where ‘the participants are there but not there, in touch but never touching, as deeply connected as they are profoundly alienated’ (Lister, 2009, 209). Thus, this poses a number of challenges, for definitively identifing ‘online community’

Mark Willis’ TEDx aims to show how he believes a real community can be  fostered within an online setting, by focusing attention on 4 criteria for success – longevity, shared values, community management and trust.

Lister, M. (2009) ‘Networks, users and economics’ in New media: a critical introduction, pp163 – 236, London: Routlede





Liked on YouTube: “Introduction to communities of practice,” (Wenger-Trayner, 2015)

Saadatdoost et. al posit that “cohesion in a MOOC community is brought about by the domain of doubts, questions, new knowledge, experiences and the community of learners who meet people around the world with similar interests” (Saadatdoost, 2014, abstract). They go on to discussion how this community of practice, as outlined in the clip, has largely been left undiscussed in reference to the study of MOOCs. Interestingly, this clip fails to provide MOOCs as exemplification of where community of practice could be revealed.


Saadatdoost, Robab; Sim, Alex Tze Hiang; Mittal, Nitish; Jafarkarimi, Hosein; and Hee, Jee Mei, “A NETNOGRAPHY STUDY OF MOOC COMMUNITY” (2014). PACIS 2014 Proceedings. 116.