A Comparison of Indian Learner Experiences on a Local and Global MOOC Platform

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Rebecca Ferguson
15 May 2017

Janesh Sanzgiri


As research on MOOCs continues to mature, findings are indicating MOOCs as deepening rather than widening access to education. Further, research on MOOCs is largely concentrated in the West, with over 90% of MOOC research emerging from North America, Europe and Oceania (Veletsianos and Shepherdson 2016). This indicates a need for further research on MOOC learners and their perspectives from non-Western contexts.

This presentation will share results from a study on Indian learners' demographics and experiences on two MOOC platforms - FutureLearn (UK) and NPTEL (India), using results from a survey of 2500 learners, with follow-up interviews with 30 learners. The study found significant differences in demographic profiles and motivations of learners between the two platforms, while interviews revealed unique methods in which MOOCs were used, as well as the technical and contextual challenges that learners faced, and how they overcame these challenges to make the most of the resources of the MOOC.

Finally, this presentation will provide a holistic look at how MOOCs are being used in the Indian context by varied groups of learners, followed by a discussion of the potential role MOOCs can play in improving higher education in India.

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