ONE SIZE FITS ALL? TOWARDS A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK FOR ALTERNATIVES TO CULTURAL HEGEMONY IN MOOCS

S. McMinn

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HONG KONG)
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), such as those provided by major institutions Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Harvard University, seem to have quickened the pace of globalizing higher education. For example, courses offered through MOOC providers Coursera, edX, and Udacity are now accessible to anyone in the world with Internet access and a computer for free. However, there has been little research to determine whether these MOOCs are truly accessible to everyone, or whether their design is appropriate for an intercultural cohort. This paper explores published research and academic literature on MOOCs and recent experiences by the author in designing an edX course that introduces strategies for developing Business communication skills for non-native speakers of English. Findings indicate there is a lack of solid evaluation of learning cultures and hegemony in MOOCs. By using the author’s experience, critical pedagogy, and the concept of online learning cultures, a theoretical framework to strategize the evaluation and design of a course and offer alternative routes to cultural hegemony is suggested.