How a global trend is translated into a local context. The spread of MOOCs into Swedish universities

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Despite the fact that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been seen as a new global education phenomenon over the last decade, MOOCs are still in the early stage of its development in Sweden. MOOCs are being adopted into the Swedish context through the application of translation theory. This process of translation has been a slow process in Sweden.  The aim of this thesis is to describe how a global idea is translated to Swedish context, and explore the reasons behind the slow pace of that process in that country, thus contributing to empirical research of the role of actors in the process of translating an idea. Why and how does a university respond to an emerging global idea? In the process of translating and spreading the MOOCs phenomenon at Swedish HEIs, what has been the role of various actors, and their activities involved in this process? Qualitative research is based on one case study, with abductive reasoning.  The translation of MOOC in Sweden is an active, complicated process, and involves a number of actors such as professors, researchers, government, education authorities and students whose activities actively edit, contextualize, and circulate the concept of MOOCs into Swedish HEIs. The findings indicate that the translation process is still slow and undirected due to the lack of support for management and leadership at all levels. However, indicators are that MOOCs will eventually be fully implemented at Swedish Higher Education Institutions, and will be developed as a national platform in Sweden.    

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