This presentation will investigate how MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) can foster learnerdiversity and support inclusivity. In particular, it will explore how the MOOC entitled Cultural Studiesand Modern Languages: An Introduction does this. This MOOC was developed by the University ofBristol and is available on the FutureLearn platform. It was launched for the first time in 2015 and,since then, has been run four times.Methodologically, my study will describe the course content, the discussions held and thedecisions made to make it as inclusive as possible. It will focus on the course discussion boardactivities. These were designed specifically to encourage and facilitate engagement from a hugerange of different learners. My investigation should help improve our understanding of MOOCaccessibility which is a field that is still scarcely researched (Sanchez-Gordon and Luján-Mora,2017; Balula, 2015; Rolfe, 2015; Sangrà et al., 2015).The presentation will also describe the overall impact the course is having on the learners’ lives — this is another dimension that has only started being studied although it is growing (Longstaff,2017; Liyanagunawardena and Williams, 2016; Ossiannilsson, Altinay and Altinay, 2015). It willdescribe two self-reflective activities within the MOOC where learners are asked to describe theimpact Cultural Studies and Modern Languages has had on them. While more data gathering isplanned soon, our initial findings suggest that the MOOC has impacted people’s lives in manydifferent positive ways, helping some of them with depression, low self-esteem and mentalhealth.
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