Growth and Collaboration in Massive Open Online Courses: A Bibliometric Analysis

Keywords: massive open online courses, MOOCs, distance education, online learning, collaborative research, inclusiveness

Abstract

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are an important approach for achieving UNESCO’s aim of open and accessible education. However, there are concerns regarding fragmentation or bias of MOOCs toward certain disciplines or countries. This study sought to: (a) examine how MOOCs research has evolved and is distributed, (b) determine what key areas are discussed in MOOCs research, and (c) identify the major players in MOOCs research and their collaborations. This study conducted a bibliometric analysis of 3,118 scholarly works related to MOOCs as recorded in the Scopus database in July, 2019. Specifically, we analyzed the evolution of MOOCs research by examining (a) published studies, (b) source titles, (c) types of sources and documents, as well as (d) the languages in which the documents were written in. We further analyzed the key areas of MOOCs research by looking into common subject areas, keywords used most often, and title analysis. Finally, we sought to increase our understanding of the major players in MOOCs research and their collaborations by examining (a) which countries contributed most to MOOCs research, (b) the main institutions involved, as well as (c) authorship and citation analysis. Findings indicated that in their early development starting in 2009, MOOCs caught the attention of scholars from both the East and the West, and the number of publications grew consistently over the 10 years after that. MOOCs research has been well distributed but has yet to adequately encourage inclusiveness. There has been healthy cross-country collaboration, but there is a gap in MOOCs research originating from certain countries as compared to the rest of the world. Our findings provide important input towards improving the inclusivity and global reach of MOOCs.

Author Biographies

Ratnaria Wahid, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Associate Professor, School of International Studies, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

Aidi Ahmi, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Associate Professor, Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz School of Accountancy, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

A.S.A Ferdous Alam, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Senior Lecturer, School of International Studies, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

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Published
2020-07-02
How to Cite
Wahid, R., Ahmi, A., & Alam, A. F. (2020). Growth and Collaboration in Massive Open Online Courses: A Bibliometric Analysis. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 21(4), 292-322. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v21i4.4693
Section
Literature Reviews