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Member Research Special VIII (Tuesday 16 April 2024)

Join us on Tuesday 16 April 2024 at 16.00BST for our eighth fantastic GO-GN member and alumni research special!

We’re delighted to welcome GO-GN members and alumni Paz Díez Arcón (UNED) and Kathryn Johnson (Northern Michigan) who will be sharing more about their work in this month’s webinar. Find out more about their research below.

Join us via Zoom at 16.00BST on Tuesday 16 April 2024.

Schedule (all times are in BST (GMT+1))

  • 16.00 Welcome
  • 16.05 Language MOOCs: a plural perspective (Paz Díez Arcón, UNED)
  • 16.30 A brief history of the United Kingdom Open University’s North American Office (Kathryn Johnson, Northern Michigan)
  • 17.00 Close


Language MOOCs: a plural perspective (Paz Díez Arcón, UNED)

This doctoral work approaches language MOOCs (LMOOCs) from a pluralistic perspective by a compilation of published papers. First, a systematic review of LMOOC research was carried out to provide a solid basis for designing subsequent proposals. These covered relevant gaps such as experimentation with social learning theory in LMOOCs, the characteristics of LMOOC participants and the monitoring of the quality in instructional designs. The results have two main theoretical and practical implications. The first is the confirmation of social learning in LMOOC as an outstanding learning theory that needs to be refined in this educational context. Derived from this fact, it is proposed to experiment with the format by applying innovative approaches that overcome the limitations of the platforms offering the courses. Also at the practical level, the behavioural patterns of participants revealed mostly passive behaviuors which should lead to more inclusive designs capable of meeting the specific needs of foreign language learners. It is imperative that this reality is considered by course designers and monitored by the research community as an element of quality in instructional designs, and that the tenets of social foreign language learning are considered for this purpose. While the shaping of common theoretical and methodological frameworks in LMOOC research is confirmed as a reality, further efforts are needed to continue building analytical frameworks of the same nature. Experience has shown that such actions lead to progress and, therefore, only by establishing common ground can this progress be replicated in the future.

A brief history of the United Kingdom Open University’s North American office (Kathryn Johnson, Northern Michigan)

The United Kingdom’s Open University (OU) established a North American Office during the early 1970s. This cross-continental endeavor has been overlooked in the published history of open, flexible, and distance education. Using archival documents and historical methodology, this presentation will share how the OU attempted to create partnerships with American universities to assess the viability of selling course packages and creating a permanent consultancy service. This presentation will also share results of a pilot project with three American universities during 1973, summarize the impact of the short life of the OU’s North American Office, and suggest implications for the future of educational collaborations that are dedicated to openness.

Join the call via Zoom!

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