Genres in the moocology of writing: Understanding cloud-based learning through a genre-activity analysis

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With constant emergence of cloud services and platforms for learning at a global scale, the field of education is in the midst of exploring and adapting to new pedagogical features afforded by these environments. Among the most debated is the development of MOOCs, short for massive open online courses, which pose questions to the traditional brick-and-mortar teaching model and implore new ways for instruction and learning. While some studies have looked at the effectiveness of MOOCs as a mode of delivery, there still lacks a genre approach to analyzing MOOCs as socio-rhetorical systems that have complex relationships with other social entities in the larger ecology of learning. With an eye toward how writing is taught and learned in the MOOC context, I investigate the kinds of course genre invented or reimagined by the cloud technologies and pedagogies afforded by MOOCs, and how those affordances facilitate writing instruction. Specifically, I use Activity Theory to highlight the genre activities specific to two composition MOOCs. By situating these MOOCs as activity systems, I offer an informed observation on the genre components affecting how students learn about writing in MOOC settings. These insights lead to numerous pedagogical implications, including the need to treat MOOCs as an emerging learning ecology that is different from conventional models.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegration of Cloud Technologies in Digitally Networked Classrooms and Learning Communities
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781522516514
ISBN (Print)9781522516507
StatePublished - Nov 22 2016


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