Qualitative System Dynamics models to assess the effect of MOOCs on the system of tertiary education

Vasiliki Tsaple, International Hellenic University, Greece
Panayiotis Tzionas, International Hellenic University, Greece

Published online: 19 April 2019, JCETR, 3(1), pp. 3-8.

URN: urn:nbn:de:0111-pedocs-190868, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3598665

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Abstract: Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) are an innovation in higher education that cause disruptions in the traditional operation of universities. For this reason it is important to understand what their effect may be in the tertiary level of education. The purpose of this paper is to study this effect under a Systems Thinking perspective. For that reason, several Causal Loop Diagrams (CLDs) were developed with the variables derived from a literature review and interviews with students and teachers. These CLDs showed that communication and collaboration among students and with teachers, cost and language are elements that determine the behavior of the system of tertiary education and the MOOCs integration. Furthermore, they can be seen as an important tool for academic advancement and a means for participation in innovative research. However, higher education is a complex system and there is the need for more advanced and/or quantitative research to fully comprehend the effect of MOOCs on it.

Keywords: Massive Online Open Courses; Systems Thinking; System Dynamics, Causal Loop Diagrams; tertiary education