Friday, 18 October 2013

What to research? Seamless learning or self-directed learning in MOOC?

There is a bit of a fork in the road with my PhD research. I can feel it. As data from my pilot study is seeping in, my head seems to want to tell me something, but the thoughts have not crystallized into conscious ideas yet.

So yesterday I took my doubts to the public, that is to say: I proposed it to my colleagues and that already twisted my mind towards some new ideas (and I put some of the remarks they shared into the powerpoint below). But now I would like to hear your views as well. What would you research if you were me? In order to provide some background, slides were shared (see below).

The setting: as I am looking at FutureLearn courses and how participants in mobile enabled MOOC self-direct their learning I am getting the feeling that I am missing an angle. Or that my mind feels like it is in need of something extra. Currently, I am looking for that extra in seamless learning. Mobile Seamless Learning has been put into a framework by Wong and Looi (2011) and it has some nice similarities with potential elements of SDL. As such I felt it worth exploring as a potential option for my main study (planned to start in January 2014).

Still having to finish my last phase of data collecting of my pilot study, I do have some data from a pre-pilot and some intense literature to share with all of you (if you are willing to go through a rather big probation report on the matter, it is a rewrite, the final version as it was accepted by the probation examiners). I rewrote the probation report, and now it has sections on why I choose self-directed learning and not self-regulated learning, crossroads between online learning, mobile learning and MOOC, and of course a methodological section. The appendices offer research instruments (learning logs, informed consent form, ...) and the first findings of the pre-pilot.

But the question currently is: whether to go for SDL or Seamless learning or ... maybe a mix. What do you think is the most thrilling (yes, nerd talking) research topic?