Staff Development through off-site MOOCs, the way forward or a step back?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


As a small specialist institution providing staff development can be costly and not always well attended or what is required or wanted by all staff,
therefore, an off-site MOOC was investigated as a possible alternative. Ten academic members of staff volunteered to participate in a MOOC about
blended learning, which ran over five weeks with four hours of allocated time per week. During week three and at the end of the course the
researchers held a focus group and interviews to gain feedback on participants’ experience of the MOOC. Thematic analyses revealed that positive
elements of the MOOC were the ownership of staff development choice compared to a mandatory session, the independence of engagement with
regards to time and accessibility, however this was also seen as a negative. 50% of staff completed the MOOC in the required time whereas only
20% adhered to the suggested time investment and this was the main reason for non-completion alongside loss of interest. A suggestion going
forward was to facilitate a learning community of staff completing a staff development MOOC to provide face to face discussion and continued
interest. Overall, carefully selected MOOCs may be a good alternative for staff development opportunities but engagement may need facilitating
within the organization.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020
EventBERA Annual Conference 2020 -
Duration: 8 Sept 202010 Sept 2020


ConferenceBERA Annual Conference 2020


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