Journal of Computing in Higher Education

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 81–97

MOOC—making and open educational practices


DOI: 10.1007/s12528-016-9128-7

Cite this article as:
Czerniewicz, L., Deacon, A., Glover, M. et al. J Comput High Educ (2017) 29: 81. doi:10.1007/s12528-016-9128-7


MOOCs have been seen as holding promise for advancing Open Education. While the pedagogical design of the first MOOCs grew out of the Open Education Movement, the current trend has MOOCs exhibiting fewer of the original openness goals than anticipated. The aim of this study is to examine the practices and attitudes of MOOC educators at an African university and ask whether and how their practices and attitudes become open after creating and teaching a MOOC. Activity Theory is used to contextually locate the educators’ motivations and to analyse their practices in terms of striving towards an object. With this lens we describe how educators’ openness-related practices and attitudes change over time in two different MOOCs. Two sets of conceptions of open practices are used to detect instances of change, providing four dimensions of changed open educational practices. Semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and artefacts provide data for this rare study, which considers these issues from the perspective of the Global South. Through studying the educators’ practices in relation to openness, it becomes evident how open practices are emergent and responsive.


Changing practices Global South MOOCs Open educational resources Open practices 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Innovation in Learning and TeachingUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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