Edited Collection Call for Proposals: Meet the MOOCs

Edited Collection Call for Proposals

Meet the MOOCs: Perspectives and Directions for MOOC-Based Education

Adam Pacton, Jamie Merriman-Pacton, Michelle Stuckey, and Duane Roen, Editors

Despite skepticism and even doomsaying across various disciplines (see esp. Invasion of the MOOCs: The Promises and Perils of Massive Open Online Courses), the popularity and efficacy of MOOC-based education continues to accelerate. The reason for this is simple: well-designed and well-facilitated MOOCs create previously unavailable pathways to learning, they do so at a fraction of conventional higher-education costs, and they promise an education facilitated by the best and brightest across the disciplines and across the world. These courses can be part of normal degree programs (like Arizona State University’s Global Freshman Academy), they can be disarticulated (from college degree) certification programs like W3C’s Front-End Developer Professional Certificate Program, or they can be stand alone courses that students pursue for a variety of professional and personal reasons. Higher education may indeed be experiencing an international sea change, and without forward-looking discussion on the manifold implications of this change, many institutions and individuals may find themselves adrift.


In this collection, we call on scholars and practitioners involved in massive open online education to chart the theories, praxis, design, and administration of MOOCs. We are interested not in speculative reflections on the nature of the MOOC; rather, we take as a starting point the given that MOOCs are viable educational modalities and that they will continue to proliferate. This call is thus a call for concrete articulations of current perspectives and future vectors of work and research.


In broad strokes, this collection will consist of four sections: theories, praxis, design, and administration. These sections are left intentionally broad to encourage submissions from a wide-range of scholarly and practical perspectives. We are of course interested in disciplinary implications, but we are especially interested in implications and directions for the MOOC educational modality. In thinking of a chapter proposal, you may want to consider the following questions (these are not exhaustive, but illustrative of the sorts of questions and issues we believe this collection might engage with):


Section 1: Theories

  • What does it mean to “theorize” the work of MOOCs?

  • How does the nature of the MOOC problematize extant theories of educational psychology? Educational technology? Distance learning? Particular disciplinary norms?

  • Is a MOOC a genre, modality, technology, something else?


Section 2: Praxis

  • How does the MOOC shift pedagogical practices?

  • How might the MOOC complicate what it means to “teach?”

  • What are best practices of MOOC pedagogy, and how do we frame what a “best practice” is in a MOOC?


Section 3: Design

  • What are the limitations and affordances of the MOOC in terms of designing for access and accessibility?

  • What are the feedback loops that arise, and how do they work, when designing courses for continual upward scaling?

  • How do – or should – different assessment theories and practices inform MOOC course design?


Section 4: Administration

  • How are MOOC “students” demarcated in terms of institutional relationships?

  • How does MOOC design and facilitation complicate conventional university employment structures?

  • How might various MOOC ROIs (for institutions, for students, for faculty) be measured?


Please send proposals of up to 500 words to moocedcoll@gmail.com by September 1, 2017. Notifications of acceptance will occur by November 1, 2017. Completed manuscripts of approximately 7500 words (25 pages) are due on June 1, 2018.


When submitting a proposal, please include names, email addresses, and institutional affiliations for all contributors. Queries are welcome, and we encourage a range of approaches and views.

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