Athabasca University

Digital Thesis Room >
Faculty of Graduate Studies >
Theses & Dissertations >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/351

Title: Why did we collaborate? A narrative inquiry into MOOC Collaborations
Authors: Koutropoulos, Apostolos
Supervisor(s): Palalas, Agnieszka (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences); Blodgett-Griffin, Cynthia (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)
Examining Committee: Ally, Mohamed (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)
Perry Mahler, Beth (Faculty of Health Disciplines)
Campbell, Katy (University of Alberta)
Degree: Doctor of Education (EdD) in Distance Education
Department: Centre for Distance Education
Keywords: Collboration
Narrative Inquiry
Rhizomatic Learning
Collaborative Research
Issue Date: 11-Aug-2021
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to better understand the experiences of working together in a distributed educational researcher workgroup. Using narrative inquiry this research explored the experiences of four educational researchers who were learner-participants in specific connectivist MOOCs on the topic of Rhizomatic Learning conducted in 2014 and 2015. These educational researchers, during this time, also banded together to form workgroups in which they researched different aspects of the MOOC experience. Prior research suggests that such self-organizing working groups are to be expected in (connectivist) MOOC environments; however, the last decade of MOOC research has yet to examine this strand of MOOC participant behaviors. My research project returns to those original connectivist MOOC roots. A better understanding of why the individuals in the MOOCs formed workgroups and worked together on self-initiated projects when the MOOCs did not require them to, provides a variety of insights into experiences that were treasured by the participants and that were transformative in nature. This research adds to the literature on connectivist MOOCs and participant behaviors in Rhizomatic MOOCs. It also provides insights to traditional online course designers and instructors on how they might promote collaboration amongst learners, and how to encourage learners to form workgroups that meet their learning needs. The results of this research study suggest that while there are numerous factors that contribute to learner-learner collaboration, the spark that ignited the collaborative endeavors came from the environment, varying participant interests, and personal curiosities. An inquiry space that was conducive to such collaboration provided participants with easy entry and exit points and included tools that facilitated group workflows. Once groups started to form, a sense of being together with others socially, as well as an enjoyment of learning, were what fueled interest in continuing to be part of such collaboratives. The existence of “catalysts” helped in maintaining momentum so that teams reached natural punctuation points (i.e., deliverables, research papers) to their collaborations. Once participants were at a collaboration punctuation point, they could choose to reform into different group configurations, examining other curiosities of mutual interest, or adjourning and moving onto something different.
Graduation Date: Jul-2021
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/351
Appears in Collections:Theses & Dissertations

Files in This Item:

File Description SizeFormat
Koutropoulos-Dissertation-072021d.pdf3.23 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.


Athabasca University Library
Athabasca University Library
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm (MT)
Phone: 1-800-788-9041
Fax: 780-675-6477
E-mail: library@athabascau.ca