Participatory learning culture and community formation in connectivist MOOCs

BOZKURT A., Keefer J.

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, vol.26, no.6, pp.776-788, 2018 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10494820.2017.1412988
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.776-788
  • Keywords: Online community formation, participatory learning culture, massive open online courses (MOOCs), social network analysis, hybrid MOOC, TRENDS
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


The purpose of this research is to better understand community formation in MOOCs through employing combined lenses of connectivism, rhizomatic learning, actor-network theory, community of practice, and community of inquiry. In a sequential explanatory mixed methodology design, social network analysis and nethnography were used to analyze and interpret data from a five-week, open and freely available MOOC, #humanMOOC, conducted in late 2015 and early 2016. The findings revealed that both intrinsic and extrinsic drives have unique roles in community formation process and support. These include respect and transparency in mutual communication, being socially visible and building a digital identity, seeing the relationships and patterns among the ideas, and being emotionally present and creating a welcoming, safe place are some effective internal drives, while opportunities to connect to personally meaningful sources or nodes, being able to wander among open ecologies, using nonhuman elements to facilitate learning, creating a safe base ground for initial activities, and creating community goods and well-designed learning spaces that meet diverse needs of the learners are some external drives.