Identification and Evaluation of the Features of the Epistemology of the MOOC (Open and Online)

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Education Sciences, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Psychology and Educational, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran


Background The purpose of this study is to analyze and evaluate epistemological characteristics of online and open MOOC courses in higher education. Methods This study was designed as an embedded mixed model research to provide a better understanding of the research problem. Throughout this research, both heuristic inquiry method and the questionnaire method were applied to obtain and analyze the data. At the primary stage, epistemology features of online and open MOOC course were identified. Content analysis method was used for qualitative data, and for quantitative data, both weighted mean and Friedman test were used. The statistical population in the qualitative section of the study includes the electronic resources related to the research subject and, in the quantitative section, 60 distance education experts in the field of planning in virtual learning environments and virtual universities, so that 36 of these experts were voluntarily selected as the study sample. Results Content analysis results showed 4 dimensions and 23 criteria. The evaluation results of the experts also showed that interacting with the global network, the ease of online interactions with learners and other organizations, and the possibility of receiving electronical assignments or workbooks during the course, are regarded as the most important epistemological characteristics of online MOOC courses; learning facilities for both genders, quick access to the digital libraries and databases, the ease of sharing knowledge with other participants through emails, chats, forums, etc. are the most important epistemological features of MOOC open courses. Conclusions: Providing epistemological features of online and open course, understanding how to hold these courses, understanding and getting information about organizations, professors and learners, knowing how to register and participate in classes as well as getting information on the online and open of classes.