Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): a Deweyan critique

Gillham, David Terrence Lenoard
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“Free quality education for anyone, anywhere” (Khan, 2012:1) is the proclamation of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) the world over. There can be no denying that such a proclamation is enticing and exciting. It seems to be intuitively correct that the technology and hyper connectivity that defines this postmodern era should also radically change the way in which education is conducted. In my research I seek to test the authenticity and strength of this claim. To do so I have 1) analysed a number of primary texts from the creators of various MOOCs in order to understand their pedagogy (andragogy); 2) synthesised a number of principles of education from two primary texts published by John Dewey in order to create a theoretical framework; and finally 3) utilised said framework to test the MOOCean conception of education. Throughout the research, I also appeal to multiple secondary sources that deal with certain important concepts and content from the most up-to-date perspectives possible.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Education. Johannesburg, March 2016.
Gillham, David Terrence Lenoard (2016) Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): a Deweyan critique, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <>