Center for Collaboration and Development

A Review of MOOC Research - CTEL Speaker Series Event

May 19, 2014
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
109/110 Abromson Center, USM Portland Campus

A Review of MOOC Research: What Questions Are Scholars Asking?

With faculty members Maureen Ebben, USM Communication and Media Studies, and Julien Murphy, USM Philosophy.

In this May CTEL Speaker Series discussion, faculty members Maureen Ebben and Julien Murphy will talk about their recent publication that surveys the first decade of scholarly research about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).  While popular accounts, editorials, and commentary about MOOCS abound, the purpose of this discussion is to cut through the noise to analyze empirical research published in scholarly journals about MOOCs. 

Maureen Ebben and Julien Murphy identify learning theories, assumptions, research directions, and themes across MOOC literature and establish a conceptual framework for understanding the present landscape of MOOC scholarship.  They suggest that MOOC research can be understood as occurring in two chronological phases: (1) Connectivist cMOOCs, Engagement and Creativity, and (2) xMOOCs, Learning Analytics, Assessment, and Critical Discourse.  The analysis locates the MOOC phenomenon within a larger social and pedagogical context, and thereby offers a deeper understanding of the trajectory of MOOCs use in higher education.


Event Resources:



Maureen Ebben

USM Communications & Media

Maureen Ebben is an Associate Professor, Adjunct and Lecturer in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Southern Maine. Her teaching includes courses on interpersonal communication, gender and language, research methods, and communication technology and social media.  She teaches in both online and face-to-face environments.  Maureen has been the recipient of grants to study students’ perceptions of technology in teaching and learning and has published works that explore the nexus of information technology, pedagogy, and human communication. Learn more about Maureen.


Julien Murphy

USM Philosophy

Julien Murphy is Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department and Coordinator of Liberal Studies/Humanities at the University of Southern Maine.  Her teaching includes courses in bioethics (PHI 295) and genetics (PHI 285), environment ethics (PHI 212), media ethics (PHI 211), social media (PHI 235) and symbolic logic.  She has been teaching online and blended courses since 2009.  She is the principal investigator of an MEIF grant, Professional Ethics and Strategic Communication in Cybersecurity.  She has also been a CTEL ambassador and member of the MOOC assessment group for PLA.  Her published research is predominantly on Sartre, Beauvoir, and issues in bioethics. Learn more about Julien.



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