Background and Objectives: MOOCs as a form of e-learning, with their great potential and capacity in learning and teaching, can meet different needs of a diverse group of learners. Therefore, universities can utilize it as an effective educational tool in their educational and research courses and help improve the quality of their education. Faculty members are among the most important pillars of the university and, accordingly, they play a major role in knowledge transfer and learning; therefore, it is necessary for faculty members to be aware of the latest methods of teaching such as MOOCs as well as knowledge acquisition and information literacy in this field. As a result, the present study has been conducted with the aim of investigating the MOOC-based information literacy of the faculty members of Al-Zahra University.
Methods: The research approach used for the study is quantitative; the method is of descriptive-survey type, with a practical purpose. The research population includes the faculty members of Al-Zahra University. Through quota stratified sampling and based on Morgan table, among the 381 faculty members, 181 individuals were selected as the research sample. To collect data, based on the theoretical foundations and research background, a researcher-made questionnaire was developed with a five-point Likert scale (very high, high, medium, low and very low). In order to measure the validity of the questionnaire, the views of experts on new teaching methods and new approaches to teaching and learning were applied. The reliability coefficient of the data was calculated using Cronbach's alpha, with the obtained value of 0.97 which indicates the high reliability of the devised questionnaires. To analyze the data, SPSS 22, one-group t-tests, Friedman and multivariate analysis of variance were used.
Findings: The findings indicate that from the participants' point of view, in the components of ‘knowledge’ (1.54), ‘preparation’ (1.53) and ‘analysis / implementation of the course’ (1.61), ‘evaluation’ (1.74), ‘review’ (1.78), ‘optimization’ (1.76) and, in general, the information literacy status of the faculty members based on MOOC (1.66) are rated below the average. The components are prioritized as ‘optimization’, ‘review’, ‘evaluation’, ‘analysis/course implementation’, ‘preparation’ and ‘knowledge’, respectively. Accordingly, ‘optimization’ (3.74) is in the best and ‘knowledge’ (3.25) is in the worst condition. In addition, among the views of the research participants on the ‘gap of information literacy of the faculty members towards the MOOCs’, there is no significant difference among the distinguishing indicators, such as ‘history, gender, academic status, age, and department’.
Conclusion: The results of this research show that MOOC-based information literacy is low among university faculty members and their knowledge and awareness of the MOOCs is very low. Lack of up-to-date faculty members, lack of various trainings, such as holding workshops, conferences, specialized meetings in the field of MOOCs, inattention and lack of emphasis laid by higher education institutions on the need to use new teaching methods by the universities, lack of attention to practical skills and familiarity with new teaching approaches in the world as a qualifying feature in employing the faculty members, lack of approval and demand of students from the faculty members to use the MOOCs in their teaching-learning approaches and the dominance of the traditional approach to teaching in the universities can be enumerated as the reasons for the results of the study.
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