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In August 2017 I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet several Kiron learners at a ‘Study Weekend’ in Berlin, who were all doing massive open online courses (MOOCs) as a way of preparing to enter the Higher Education system in Germany. I ran a focus group with these learners, as I was curious to know what their experience of online learning was like. Ten of the learners agreed to participate in online interviews with me after the weekend, and analysed what the learners had told me in relation to the augmented Communities of Inquiry framework. I wanted to find out how useful this framework was in helping to understand these learners’ experiences of learning online. I enjoyed the process of getting to know my research partners a little through the interviews, and was very grateful for all the time they spent helping me to understand what it was like for them to learn from MOOCs.

Augmented CoI framework – diagram by Gabi Witthaus, informed by Garrison et al (2000) [] and Shea et al (2010) []

My findings are summarised in this paper:

Witthaus, G. (2018) ‘Findings from a Case Study on Refugees Using MOOCs to (Re)enter Higher Education’, OpenPraxis, 10(4). Available at: