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Online learning for all “Arabs”: Examining the pedagogical approach of a cross-cultural Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for multicultural “Arab” learners
Abstract by Amin Marei On Session V-16  (Data in the Middle East Classroom)

On Friday, December 2 at 1:30 pm

2022 Annual Meeting

As one of the most prominent trends in higher education, the appeal of MOOCs has been highly influenced by their potential for expanding global access to high-quality education. However, many studies have shown that MOOCs paradoxically exacerbate the exclusion of socioeconomically under-resourced learners while widening educational disparities. The inability of MOOCs to reach their potential has been attributed to the prevalence of pedagogical choices that create cultural barriers to accessing MOOC content, especially for non-Western learners. These barriers also explain Arab learners' inferior MOOC completion metrics compared to their peers globally, with many Arab learners challenged by course designers' deficit assumptions concerning their lived experiences. Yet, despite MOOC's underwhelming results, nations in the Arab region are making significant investments in MOOCs for their potential to "democratize education." Through an ethnographic case study of the course design process of Edraak, the largest MOOC provider for Arab learners, this study examines the cultural responsiveness of Edraak's MOOC pedagogy. This paper addresses three questions: (1) How do course designers navigate the tension between designing culturally responsive MOOCs for all Arab learners and the multicultural diversity of "Arab" learners' lived experiences? (2) What construction of the "Arab" learner emerges from MOOC's cross-cultural design process? (3) How do Edraak's learners perceive the cultural responsiveness of the MOOC design and its influence on their learning and engagement?
Geographic Area
Arab States
Sub Area
All Time Periods