MOOCs and Libraries: Many Hats, Many Questions

Ashley E. Faulkner


In light of their ubiquitous presence today, it is easy to forget: even if you date back to the first use of the term, MOOCs (massive open online courses) are only six years old. If you date to the popularization of the form, MOOCs’ breakthrough moment didn’t come until two Stanford professors offered one such course on artificial intelligence in 2012 and over one hundred and sixty thousand people around the world registered. 1 That same year saw the inception of popular MOOC platforms, including Coursera and Udacity, the former having since registered over four million users. 2 In light of this limited time frame and rapid rate of growth, it is perhaps not surprising that scholarly research regarding MOOCs is relatively sparse; while there has been some attention paid to the pedagogy and instructors of MOOCs, there is, as of yet, very little research into the role of libraries and librarians within this movement.

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