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Identifying interaction patterns and teacher-learner roles in connectivist massive open online courses
Bozkurt, Aras

Type of workDoctoral Dissertation
PeriodicalVolume PhD, Pages 245
Original PublicationBağlantıcı Kitlesel Açık Çevrimiçi Derslerde Etkileşim Örüntüleri ve Öğreten-Öğrenen Rollerinin Belirlenmesi
InstitutionAnadolu University
CountryTurkey, Europe

The purpose of this doctoral dissertation is to identify interaction patterns and teacher-learner roles in connectivist massive open online courses (MOOCs). To accomplish this purpose, mixed method and the explanatory sequential design was used. For data collection and analysis, social network analysis, interview, observation and document analysis was used. Research findings were interpreted with the perspectives of connectivism, rhizomatic learning and social network theory.

According to the demographic findings of the research, learners in connectivist massive open online networks are distributed globally in time and place, many participate from English spoken countries, and 89% of the learners comes from low-context cultures while 11% comes from high context cultures. Participants are individuals that are somehow connected to education field; or students or instructors in higher education. Demographic findings reveal that diversity in MOOCs exist in multiple dimensions and these findings further confirm that MOOCs are “global mega classes”.

When examined in terms of interaction patterns, unified-tight crowd community pattern was observed in connectivist massive open online course networks. The nodes in this kind of networks have strong connections to one another and significant connections that bridge sub-groups. Learners of this type of networks tend to communicate with each other frequently and share a common interest. These networks are composed of a few dense and/or densely interconnected groups where conversations usually swirl around and increase its density towards the center, involving different people at different times.

Research findings additionally demonstrated that connectivist learning environments require relatively few hops to communicate and interact with the learning community, and confirmed the theses proposed in the Small World Phenomenon and the Global Village. Inversely proportional to decreasing learning number, it is observed that the network density is increased and a dense interaction occurred in the learning network. When the degree centrality distribution is examined, it is seen that emerged distribution fits in the Long tail and Power Law distributions which further means that connectivist learning networks are scale-free. In terms of production and consumption of the knowledge, there is a similarity as explained in 80/20 rule, 90-9-1 rule and Pareto Law.

Throughout the analysis and decoding of the findings to identify teacher and learners’ roles, a total of 25 roles are identified and among the roles emerged, 12 roles are defined for teachers, 11 roles are defined for learners and 2 roles are defined as intersecting roles for teacher and learners. Upon examining the emerging roles, it is seen that the borders between teachers and learners’ roles are blurred and responsibility in the learning process is shared both by teachers and learners. Teacher roles have a focus on facilitating the learning process while learner roles have a focus on using self-skills.

Keywords connectivism · distance education · explanatory sequential mixed design · interaction patterns · learners' roles · massive open online course · mixed method · MOOC · open and distance learning · open education. · rhizomatic learning · social network analysis · social network theory · teachers' roles

Published atEskişehir
RefereedDoes not apply
Export optionsBibTex · EndNote · Tagged XML · Google Scholar

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What research says about MOOCs – An explorative content analysis
Zawacki-Richter, Olaf; Bozkurt, Aras; Alturki, Uthman; Aldraiweesh, Ahmed
Since the first offering of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in 2008, the body of literature on this new phenomenon of open learning has grown tremendously. In this regard, this article intends to identify and map ...
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Trends and patterns in massive open online courses: Review and content analysis of research on MOOCs (2008-2015)
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To fully understand the phenomenon of massive open online courses (MOOCs), it is important to identify and map trends and patterns in research on MOOCs. This study does so by reviewing 362 empirical articles published ...
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Community tracking in a cMOOC and nomadic learner behaviour identification on a connectivist rhizomatic learning network
Bozkurt, Aras; Honeychurch, Sarah; Caines, Autumm; Bali, Maha; et al.
This article contributes to the literature on connectivism, connectivist MOOCs (cMOOCs) and rhizomatic learning by examining participant interactions, community formation and nomadic learner behavior in a particular ...
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An examination of xMOOCs: An embedded single case study based on Conole’s 12 dimensions
Kocdar, Serpil; Okur, Recep M.; Bozkurt, Aras
This study intends to examine the xMOOCs offered by one of the mainstream MOOC platforms in Conole’s 12 dimensions. For this purpose, the research employed an embedded single case study using heuristic inquiry to ...
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Research trends in Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) theses and dissertations: Surfing the Tsunami wave
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Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have attracted a great deal of attention by higher education and private enterprises. MOOCs have evolved considerably since their emergence in 2008, all the while given rise to ...
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The last 100 years have seen a significant transformation in the way we understand teaching and learning. This chapter documents that change. We now understand that learning is neither merely the passive reception of ...
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MOOCs: A learning journey
Smith, Becky; Eng, Min; Cheung, Simon K. S.; Fong, Joseph; et al.
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have been radically changing the direction of online education in the last few years. Although sharing many common features, there has been an emergence of two distinct varieties of ...
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Participant association and emergent curriculum in a MOOC: Can the community be the curriculum?
Bell, Frances; Mackness, Jenny; Funes, Mariana
We investigated how participants associated with each other and developed community in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about Rhizomatic Learning (Rhizo14). We compared learner experiences in two social networking ...
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Research analysis on MOOC course dropout and retention rates
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This research’s objective was to identify the terminal efficiency of the Massive Online Open Course “Educational Innovation with Open Resources” offered by a Mexican private university. A quantitative methodology ...
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Evaluation criteria for interactive e-books for open and distance learning
Bozkurt, Aras; Bozkaya, Mujgan; McGreal, Rory; Conrad, Dianne
The aim of this mixed method study is to identify evaluation criteria for interactive e-books. To find answers for the research questions of the study, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected through a ...
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