MOOCs til unge flygtninge?

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Anouschka Ismene Andersen
4. term, Learning and Innovative Change, Master (Master Programme)
This master thesis is an explorative case study, based on the pragmatic paradigm. Its main research question is how MOOCs can support education for refugees, especially from Syria. These "massive online open education" courses (MOOCs) are offered from high-end universities all over the world, and have set a completely new set of opportunities for those who do not have access to traditional educational resources. With more than 60 million refugees around the world (UNHCR 2015) many lacking educational opportunities, this could potentially become a situation, with serious social consequences. Many Syrians have fled with little education or unfinished studies (Lorisika & Cremonini & Safar Jalani, 2015), and this is not only a global issue, but also has some local effects. The conduct of this thesis is a case study in one small Danish municipality Halsnæs Kommune. It contains a preliminary bibliography with the purpose of setting the area for MOOCs and exploring former research on the topic. The literature review shows that there is a lot of potential in MOOCs, but also concludes that there are many different pedagogical approaches, and many questions unanswered about participant motivation, since this is a whole new field in progress. Research shows that none of the studies includes refugee's perspective. Methodically this is approached by in cooperating three different optical views. From a structural point of view, which contains the community perspective, the actor perspective, as to refugees own understanding, and a media approach, that includes the human interaction with ,technology and learning aspects of MOOC. Interaction is being analyzed, based on several theoretical observations that include resilience, cognitive motivational theories and social connectivist theories. The mixed case study is based on factual findings, interviews, and participating observation at a library facility, that already has some educational support for refugees. The theoretical conclusions are that learning needs a social dimension and a starting point. This particular library has made cooperation with community volunteers and the municipality, which could potentially form a learning hub for starting MOOCs. There is nothing in the research findings, which shows that the refugees did not have the skills to take advantage of MOOCs, but there are some curriculum issues that have to be addressed, if perseverance and engagement must consist. Based on Luc Boltanskis justice theory (Boltanski 2011), some opinion differences are observed, between the political decisions to prioritize jobs over education, as to the fact that some refugees can´t afford not to work, and therefore being deprived from social progress. Boltanskis positive ideology is to find a balance between the two, and MOOC seems to be a potential bridge between balancing job and education for both parts, and supporting resilient behavior. More research and pilot studies must be conducted on the factual use of MOOCs with this group, to find out if this is practical feasible, since this thesis has only made some theoretical preliminary research.
Publication date29 Jul 2016
Number of pages145,870
ID: 237844452