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Tina Papathoma PhD fellowship in our group

Tina Papathoma PhD fellowship in our group


Tina Papathoma is doing her PhD at the Institute of Educational Technology, Open University, UK. Currently, she is a visiting PhD researcher at UPF for a period of 3 months. The PhD study she is working on is related to how educators learn how to teach in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).


During her PhD fellowship Tina works with Davinia Hernandez-Leo collaborating in running a MOOC survey on how educators learn to work on the processes of designing and facilitating MOOCs. This project seeks to contribute to the creation of guidelines that will assist educators in their moocs teaching (design, run and facilitate). 


Tina presented part of her PhD analysis in one of our group meetings on ‘Who are the mooc educators and what are their tasks?




People working in HE institutions and organisations related to education are learning new forms of teaching and learning practice to transform the ways they work. This study explores who the people involved in massive open online courses (moocs) are and how they describe their tasks in those courses. Data were gathered through a multiple case study involving interviews with 28 people involved in moocs. Analysis shows that educators come from different backgrounds (i.e. academics, learning designers, PhD students) with different types of expertise such as teaching, subject matter expertise and learning design expertise. Educators reported that they often collaborated in the mooc process (i.e. design, run, facilitate). However, their roles were not fixed and they often moved from one role to another. This entailed taking different responsibilities for which they may not have the expertise to work on. Some of the most common jobs educators were involved in were setting the course objectives, creation of course materials, pedagogical decisions on how the course will go live, decisions on purchasing copyright material, video presenting, and video editing. Educators reported that they often learned these tasks in practice as training was either limited or absent. In order to manage the challenges they faced in the mooc process they collaborated with each other (sociocultural knowledge) and they self-regulated by seeking advice from experts as well as observing how other moocs have run. The role expectations for educators in moocs may be very demanding. They may need to acquire a range of skills that were not required in their past experience, and they may need to collaborate with others and share each other’s expertise. Institutions, senior management and platforms may assist in that.