Peter the Great Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 4970-4978
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0975
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
In recent years, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been gaining traction. This phenomenon was introduced to the educational realm only around 2010, but immediately triggered a massive discussion engaging scholars, educators, business people, policymakers, philosophers, students. While some see it as a mere extension of online education, others tag them “disruptive technologies”, a new “breakthrough” and even “a de facto revolution in education”. Though the discussion remains heated, and opponents of MOOCs warn of possible repercussions, different educational institutions and even countries are giving MOOCs a serious thought.

Indeed, MOOCs seem to be a perfect solution to the most topical problems crippling the traditional educational system. Besides, with the advent and development of Internet technologies, subsequent exponential growth of the volume of data people are exposed to and promotion of the “lifelong learning” concept, MOOCs appear to be a perfect “cure-all”.

Russia, being one of the countries currently integrating into the global community, is also looking for ways to leverage its system of education enhancing its durability, flexibility and efficiency. MOOCs might play a significant role in the ongoing process of modernisation of the Russian system of education. Today Russian institutions of higher education, including Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University, are deliberating massive integration of MOOCs into their curriculum, experimenting both with existing (external) MOOCs offered on various MOOC platforms, such as Coursera, Futurelearn, edX, etc. and creating internal MOOCs offered through the National Open Education Platform. Universities are also experimenting with different MOOC integration approaches, selecting the most suitable platforms and courses, studying policies governing MOOCs use and distribution, piloting hybrid courses, etc.

Within the last two years the Department of Linguistics and Cross-cultural Communication at Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University has been conducting an experiment on the integration of external foreign MOOCs into the Master’s of Linguistics programme developed for extramural students.

In the course of the experiment, researchers identified MOOC platforms with the best selection of MOOCs for humanities courses, studied the policies governing MOOCs use and distribution, monitored MOOCs statistics, developed several MOOC integration proposals and tested them. In addition, a MOOC awareness survey was conducted among students confirming researchers’ claim that a vast majority of Russian students is unfamiliar with this phenomenon.

Researchers believe that the results of the experiment might provide some valuable insights into the problem of integration of external foreign MOOCs into regional systems of higher education and contribute to the further development of the phenomenon of MOOCs. They also think that the results of the experiment could be summarized in an article addressing the following issues:
1) Selection of MOOC platforms for university humanities programmes.
2) Approaches to integration of external foreign MOOCs into the regional university curriculum.
3) Analysis of the results of integration of external foreign MOOCs: challenges and prospects.
Massive Open Online Courses MOOCs for humanities, MOOCs integration, master's degree program in Linguistics.