The Forum, the Sardine Can and the Fake: contesting, adapting and practicing the Massive Open Online Course.

Jeremy Keith Knox


The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) has emerged at the forefront of a burgeoning open education movement. In the typical MOOC, students are expected to use internet technology as a transparent window to the prestigious university lecture. However, the modes, tendencies and routines of MOOC participation remain significantly under-theorised, and the need for in-depth and extensive research in this area is critical. This paper will foreground the themes of resistance and appropriation in the MOOC through a discussion of E-learning and Digital Cultures, a course from the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Coursera. Three events from this course – a forum thread, a course review written by a student, and a final assignment submission - will be used to explore the ways in which teachers and students are responding to, contesting, adopting and practicing higher education in this emerging and digitally-mediated domain.

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