Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have opened up a gateway for ongoing learning opportunities to students, faculty and researchers. MOOCs are now being offered in the field of Library and Information Science (LIS) by a number of universities and institutions. This paper aims to explore how this new model of education can bring opportunities to LIS schools to overcome such constraints as lack of teachers, variable skills levels, paucity of funds and limited infrastructure, all of which can be significant barriers to effective delivery of LIS education. This paper will provide the first perspective from a developing country like India. It will explain the concept of MOOC and discuss its present role in LIS, and will explore its potential for collaboration in furthering teaching and research in this area.
A desk-based approach was used to study the philosophy behind MOOCs and its applicability in the field of LIS. However, a survey method was implemented to collect views of LIS professionals in India, to assess their understanding and interest in MOOCs. The scope of this study was limited to explaining how this new form of education can bring opportunities to LIS schools in India.
The study reveals great interest among Indian LIS professionals in further study through MOOCs, although the adoption of this learning method in Indian LIS schools is still a rarity. However, policy initiatives recently proposed by the Government of India will make it necessary for LIS schools to start experimenting with this new medium of education.
Some of the areas of collaboration discussed in this paper may enable LIS teachers and schools to adopt MOOCs to further LIS education and research, especially in developing countries.
The authors sincerely thank Dr Satish S. Munnolli from ACTREC, Navi Mumbai, India; Mr Praveen B. Gawali from the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Navi Mumbai, India; Dr Sudha Narayanan from IGIDR, Mumbai, India; and Neha Pujar for their suggestions in revising the manuscript.
Pujar, S. and Tadasad, P. (2016), "MOOCs – an opportunity for international collaboration in LIS education: A developing country’s perspective", New Library World, Vol. 117 No. 5/6, pp. 360-373. https://doi.org/10.1108/NLW-07-2015-0048Download as .RIS
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