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The Application and Utilization Of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) in Higher Education

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Lundqvist
    Dr Liyanagunawardena
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Project Overview:

MOOCs have recently shaken the world of Higher Education. Courses with thousands of participants run by a small team have become the norm. The School of Systems Engineering is also active in this area, for instance through the FutureLearn platform. However, there are still many unresolved issues in running such courses. The PhD candidate is expected to identify and/or address some of the following areas in this field: Supporting and engaging massive numbers of students online, intelligent tutoring, cultural and socio-technical differences in user experiences, and impact of MOOCs to stake holders.

School of Systems Engineering, University of Reading:
The University of Reading is one of the UK’s 20 most research-intensive universities and among the top 200 universities in the world. Achievements include the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement (1989) and the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education (1998, 2006 and 2009). This project will take place in the School of Systems Engineering (SSE), which has a strong reputation for its innovative research in computer science, cybernetics, and electronic engineering.

How to apply:
(1) Submit an application for a PhD in Computer Science] using the link below.
(2) After submitting your application you will receive an email to confirm receipt; email should be forwarded along with a covering letter and full CV to Dr Karsten Øster Lundqvist ([email protected]).
(3) * In the online application system, there is a section for “Research proposal” and a box that says “If you have already been in contact with a potential supervisor, please tell us who” – in this box, please enter “Karsten Lundqvist”.

Funding Notes

We welcome applications from self-funded students worldwide for this project.
Students from Brazil: we welcome and support applications for the Science Without Borders Scholarship (Ciência sem Fronteiras).

Applicants should have a bachelors (at least 2.1 or equivalent) or Masters' degree in Computer Science, IT, Educational Technology or a strongly related discipline.


Liyanagunawardena, T. R., Lundqvist, K. O. and Williams, S. A. (2015) Who are with us: MOOC learners on a FutureLearn course. British Journal of Educational Technology. ISSN 1467-8535 doi: 10.1111/bjet.12261 (In Press) (Special issue on MOOCs)

Liyanagunawardena, T. R., Lundqvist, K., Parslow, P. and Williams, S. (2014) MOOCs and retention: does it really matter? In: Can MOOCs save Europe's unemployed youth? EC TEL, 16th September, Graz.

Liyanagunawardena, T. R., Lundqvist, K. O., Micallef, L. and Williams, S. A. (2014) Teaching programming to beginners in a massive open online course. In: OER14: building communities of open practice, 28-29 April 2014 , Newcastle.

Liyanagunawardena, T. R., Adams, A. A. and Williams, S. A. (2013) MOOCs: a systematic study of the published literature 2008-2012. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 14 (3). pp. 202-227. ISSN 1492-3831

Williams, S. A., Lundqvist, K. and Parslow, P. (2013) RedGloo: Experiences of developing and using an emerging technology in higher education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44 (4). pp. 668-672. ISSN 1467-8535 doi: 10.1111/bjet.12055

K. Ø. Lundqvist, G. Paviotti, S. Williams, Book chapter “Educational Data Mining” in “Intelligent Tutoring Systems in distance education: a review”, Pensa MultiMedia Editore, Lecce, Italy, ISBN 978-88-6760-048-9

A C Crook, A L Mauchline, S J Maw, C S Lawson, R Drinkwater, K O Lundqvist, P Orsmond, S Gomez, J R Park, “The use of video technology for providing feedback to students: Can it enhance the feedback experience for staff and students?”, Journal ‘Computers & Education’, Volume 58, Issue 1, p386-396, 2011.

Karsten Lunqvist, Keith Baker, Shirley Williams, “Ontology Supported Competency System”,International Journal of Knowledge and Learning special issue on “Knowledge Management and e-Human Resources Practices for Innovation”, Volume 7, Issue 3/4, p197-219, 2011. (DOI 10.1504/IJKL.2011.044539)

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