The initial problem with writing this dissertation was tracking down the learning theories behind Coursera-like MOOCs. These business models are incredibly new, and their PR focuses on issues of access and affordability rather than theory and pedagogy. Most searchable MOOC research focuses on cMOOCs, the connectivism-inspired MOOCs sired initially Siemens and Downes (which we will explore more heavily in the future, such as DS106).
It’s easy to forget that the MOOC is an extension of distance learning; in some respects, it is a fancier correspondence course. Thus, the theory exists, it’s just hiding in the world of distance education. Terry Anderson and Jon Dron explore the learning pedagogies (and theories) behind the evolution of distance learning, viewing the evolution of the field as in tune with the sociopolitical and sociocultural climates of the world at the time. Continue reading