Lifelong learning professionals need to ensure disadvantaged groups have access to e-learning: “Reflexivity” is required

Karen McArdle, Ramone Al Bishawi, Philip Giles Marston, Rachel Katherine Shanks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper describes the findings of an action research project that sought to engage lifelong learning professionals, known in Scotland as Community Learning and Development (CLD) professionals from Scottish rural and remote areas in continuing professional development (CPD) using MOOC educational approaches. The paper describes the pilot project and the objective of achieving “reflexivity”. It argues that e-learning in the form of MOOCs requires all participants to be autonomous learners. “Reflexivity” describes empowering CLD professionals to use MOOC principles in engaging with their own participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. The conclusion is that, whilst MOOC approaches are useful and effective means of encouraging participation in learning, they are in danger of perpetuating disadvantage by excluding
some learners from educational opportunities and engagement in MOOC communities. Further work is required to explore how these traditionally disadvantaged populations may be included in MOOC learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-38
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning
Volume8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

Keywords

  • MOOC
  • reflexivity
  • emerging technology
  • disadvantaged groups

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