Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Social Media Use and Digital Competence as Predictors of Students' Familiarity with MOOCs

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

"MOOCs represent a digital learning environment that requires a degree of digital competence to navigate and can be promoted or discovered via social media," write the authors. So it makes sense to ask whether activities that would develop that competence - participation in social media, for example - would have an impact on a student's participation in a MOOC. This study (49 page PDF) is (unfortunately) limited to two cases, measuring "the level of MOOC awareness among students as a function of digital competence and social media use in a research-intensive public university in the Southern Hemisphere and a university in North Macedonia." But it's not straightforward, considering "the counter-intuitive finding that technical literacy negatively predicts social media use." But overall, "lower digital competence and limited engagement with social media lead to reduced awareness of MOOCs... But awareness does not necessarily convert to engagement." But most of all, we shouldn't be thinking of MOOC use the way we would a typical university class. "MOOCs seem to be treated more casually, akin to watching a documentary rather than committing to a formal educational track... the high number of participants who merely lurk in these courses reported elsewhere suggests that MOOCs are approached in a more laid-back manner, rather than as an externally imposed requirement which is seen as a means to an end."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 25, 2024 12:10 a.m.

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