Decision, Implementation, and Confirmation: Experiences of Instructors behind Tourism and Hospitality MOOCs

Keywords: MOOCs, instructors, diffusion of innovation, innovation decision process, motivation, tourism, hospitality

Abstract

As the popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) continues to grow, studies are emerging to investigate various topics in this area. Most have focused on the learners’ perspective, leaving a gap in the literature about MOOC instructors. The current research—conducted in the field of tourism and hospitality—explored early experiences of MOOC instructors as they progressed through three stages of the innovation-decision process: decision, implementation, and confirmation. The tourism and hospitality field was chosen because its related industries contribute significantly to global employment, and training is one of their critical success factors. MOOCs possess a good potential to benefit tourism and hospitality education, yet tourism and hospitality MOOCs are under-researched. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six instructors who offered tourism and hospitality MOOCs between 2008 and 2015. Findings revealed that: (1) the instructors’ decisions to offer MOOCs were mostly influenced by their institutes’ interests in MOOCs; (2) when the instructors implemented MOOCs, a pattern of action emerged, which included six phases and one cross-phase element—prepare, design, develop, launch, deliver, and evaluate—and across phases—support and train; (3) most instructors chose to avoid risk in their adoption and implementation of the MOOCs, staying away from innovative teaching or learning activities such as peer-review assessments and collaborative activities; and (4) half of the instructors intended to repeat the experience of teaching in the MOOCs format in the future.

Author Biographies

Jingjing Lin, USI Università della Svizzera italiana

Jingjing is currently a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI, University of Lugano). Under the supervision of Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni, she focuses the research interests mainly on eLearning in hospitality and tourism, in particular within the area of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

Raised up in China, Jingjing received her bachelor degree in the area of management from the Harbin Engineering University, China. Afterwards, she moved to Hong Kong for master programme study specializing in eLearning. In the following four years after her graduation from The University of Hong Kong (HKU), she continued to serve in the Hong Kong communities by contributing in various projects closely related to eLearning in both the industry sectors and the local universities.

Jingjing is also a researcher at webatelier.net. Besides, as part of the service team in the eLearning Lab (eLab) at USI, she carries duties including instructional design, courseware development, LMS management and tutoring tasks for first pilot MOOCs developed by the Faculty of Communication Sciences.

Lorenzo Cantoni, Faculty of Communication Sciences, USI Università della Svizzera italiana
Lorenzo Cantoni graduated in Philosophy and holds a PhD in Education and Linguistics. He is full professor at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI Lugano, Switzerland), Faculty of Communication Sciences, where he is director of the Institute for Communication Technologies. Lorenzo Cantoni is scientific director of the laboratories webatelier.net, NewMinE Lab: New Media in Education Lab, and eLab: eLearning Lab.
Published
2018-02-23
How to Cite
Lin, J., & Cantoni, L. (2018). Decision, Implementation, and Confirmation: Experiences of Instructors behind Tourism and Hospitality MOOCs. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v19i1.3402
Section
Research Articles