A study of Veterinary Scholars’ Perception of MOOCs

Publication Date11 November 2019
Date11 November 2019
AuthorKutty Kumar
SubjectLibrary & information science,Librarianship/library management,Library & information services
A study of Veterinary Scholars
Perception of MOOCs
Kutty Kumar
Department of Library and Information Science, College of Veterinary Science,
Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Proddatur, India
Purpose Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are a currently trending e-learning platform that
presumably attract thousandsof participants because of boundless participation, are open to any personto
enroll, are free to begin and are delivered completely online, thus contradicting the spatial limitations of a
traditional classroom.This study aims to present the ndings of a study among veterinary science students
examining their perceptionsof MOOCs. In total, 200 participants were randomlyselected for the survey, out
of which 177 responded, owing to a responserate of 88.7 per cent. Majority of the respondents (93 per cent)
opined MOOCs supplement other learning methods and provide lifelong opportunity. A study report
established that Courserais the largest platform by user base (82 per cent), followed by Udemy (70 per cent),
and 65 per cent knowledge seekers ranted the enormous propaganda about MOOCs are not because of the
technologys inherentedifying value, but because of the incredible potentials of lower costs. The participants
in this survey valuedtheir course and overall MOOC experience pleasing.
Design/methodology/approach The aim of the study is to exploreveterinary studentsperception of
MOOCs featuring in their subject of interest. The questionnaire was written in English because it is the
teaching language for undergraduates and postgraduates in most Indian higher education institutes,
including the one used as a contextfor this study. The online questionnaires were electronicallymailed to a
sample of veterinary students (undergraduate and postgraduate) with a consent form seeking their
permissionfor participation in this study and swearing them the condentialityof their responses. The e-mail
included information about the purpose of the study as well as the URL to the survey site, demographic
questions on age, gender and education.This part was followed by an important research question asking if
the student had heard about the new open online educational system (MOOCs) provided in websites,
including Coursera,Edx, Udacity and FutureLearn, among others. Basedon respondentsanswers, they were
directed to differentsections. Students who knew about MOOCs were asked variousmode of getting enrolled
in MOOCs. If they were not enrolledin any course, the respondents were asked about the limitations to their
use. Enrolled studentswere questioned on their perspectives and experiences with MOOCs.For students who
gained certicates,were enquired for their level of satisfaction, opinions about the integrationof MOOCs into
the veterinary eld and hindrances encounteredduring accessing the course. Out of a total of 200 students
who initially agreedto take part, 177 responses were received, with a responserate of 88.50 per cent, with no
cases of missing data. The data werestored automatically in the hosted online survey service into a separate
database after the submission of the responses. The descriptive data analyses (such as average) were led
using the data analysistool provided.
Findings Even though most MOOCs do not provide academic credit or result in a degree, some of the
biggest beneciaries of MOOCs are students formally enrolled in an academic program, are provided a
free mode to obtain additional academic assistance that would not otherwise be available (Parke Muth,
2018)15. Correspondingly, 93 per cent of the students opined MOOCs supplement other learning methods
and provide lifelong opportunity. Learning has traditionally cost both money and time. With MOOCs, it
now just costs time. In total, 24 per cent of the participants have discoursed free of cost as one of the
intentions to choose their course. Almost every respondent (99 per cent) was interested toward online
discussion forum, and 91 per cent preferred course materials containing video and audio les were pretty
benecial, while 88 per cent felt teaching through electronic whiteboard was the most advantageous
criterion in their course. The study ndings indicated that Coursera is the largest platform by user base
(82 per cent), followed by Udemy (70 per cent).
Research limitations/implications The study considered veterinary scienceundergraduate (BVSc)
and postgraduate (MVSc) students alone, veterinary faculties are not included for the survey. There was
Received13 April 2019
Revised16 September 2019
13October 2019
16October 2019
Accepted17 October 2019
Informationand Learning
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/ILS-04-2019-0031
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