PhD Title: Learner's and teachers experiences of collaborative online learning

Shahrzad ArdavaniShahrzad said “I obtained a Bachelor degree in English Language and Literature from Islamic Azad University and a Masters in Education TESOL from Exeter University. I have ten years’ experience of teaching English as a foreign and second language to a wide variety of English learners with diverse backgrounds, from beginners to advanced levels. This includes expatriate businesses people, embassy personnel and children of foreign families at Pakistan International School & College in Tehran.

I am currently undertaking a PhD in Education with an Elphinstone scholarship. My current research is about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as an answer to a critical need for global access to higher education and professional development, specifically for marginalized people in advanced economies and also in developing countries.

My current research has two strands: the first strand looks at the way that MOOCs can be enhanced to maximize participation and success in learning outcomes for users. For this purpose, I am investigating the lived experiences of participants in a MOOC for English teachers, and I will try to understand the inhibiting factors for the development and expansion of MOOCs, especially among less developed countries.

The second strand of my research focuses on the assumption that different learners bring different expectations and assumptions to on-line learning based on their previous experiences and a specific pedagogy that was applied in their context. Thus, I will explore in what ways there may be a mismatch between the existing pedagogy of the MOOC platform and the one participants have.”