Doing MOOCs in Dili: Studying online learner behaviour in the Global South

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This work in progress paper is part of an ethnographic action research project investigating the potential for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to provide learning opportunities to students in Dili, Timor-Leste. A systematic review of academic literature on MOOCs and Open Educational Resources (OER) in the Global South1 identified key emergent themes: The infrastructural barriers to Internet access; the literacies required to participate in online learning; the new, often unfamiliar pedagogical approaches; and the context of content. This paper examines these themes in Dili as they play out in practice. A fifth theme in the literature is also discussed; the imbalance of knowledge flow from global North to South, leading to accusations of academic neocolonialism. This paper proposes that qualitative learner behaviour research is crucial to understanding how online learners in places like Dili negotiate the conditions which constrain and enable learning in MOOCs, and concludes that MOOC platforms need to acknowledge postcolonial critiques and give greater voice to academics in the Global South.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-59
Number of pages6
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event2019 Work in Progress Papers of the Research, Experience and Business Tracks at EMOOCs, EMOOCs-WIP 2019 - Naples, Italy
Duration: 20 May 201922 May 2019


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