Literature and Mental Health: the MOOC as Research Tool

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Rebecca Ferguson
27 May 2016

Rachael Hodge

In February 2016, the University of Warwick’s FutureLearn course ‘Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing’ ran for the first time. We saw this particular MOOC as an opportunity to conduct some research into the subject matter – ‘reading for wellbeing’ – and so we developed a number of surveys and research activities in which our learners could choose to participate

‘Literature and Mental Health: the MOOC as Research Tool’ describes our experience of researching via a FutureLearn course. The presentation gives an overview of our research aims and activities, and puts forward the case for using MOOCs to conduct research. FutureLearn courses have the potential to reach a vast and varied audience, giving researchers access to unprecedented numbers of participants.

The MOOC research process was not without its difficulties, however, and this presentation will also discuss the main challenges that we faced, our solutions for overcoming these challenges, and the inevitable limitations of the MOOC as a research tool. 

We have learned as much about MOOC-led research itself as we have about the subject we were researching, and this presentation will share some of our insights for others who are considering researching via a MOOC.

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