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European University Association report: MOOCs in Europe

This paper is the January 2014 update of a report originally published January 2013.

Highlights of summary observations:

  • While Europe joined the MOOC party late, about 1/3 of worldwide MOOCs are now of European origin.
  • Just as many students are drawn to completing MOOCs for “reputational” reasons, many European universities are drawn to creating them for same reason. However, in some countries, especially Spain which is in economic crisis, there appears to be a genuine hope/expectation that MOOCs can improve the cost-effectiveness of higher education.
  • There seems to be some vague movement towards offering credit for MOOCs, but it's haphazard. A few efforts are aligned with accreditation schemes like Europe's ECTS or the US's ACE or India's UGC.

Highlights of the summary challenges/recommendations:

  • Business models for MOOCs are still uncertain, and may be even more complex in Europe, where the universities producing the content are largely publicly funded and charge almost no tuition.
  • Most indications are the MOOCs will supplement rather than replace current universities, though report acknowledges that some vocal MOOC skeptics criticize from a “nostalgic view of the higher education experience that ignores the reality of modern mass higher education”.
  • Although various European entities (open universities, etc) have had online ed for some time, and some have jumped on MOOC bandwagon and/or expanded their offerings with MOOC portals (eg Open University and individual university offerings on one-off platforms), there's a lack of strategic discussion about the value and desired attributes of European MOOCs.

BibTeX citation:

  author =    {Michael Gaebel},
  title =        {{MOOCs}---Massive Open Online Courses},
  publisher =    {European University Association},
  year =         2014,
  month =     {Jan},
  url = {}}
mooc-experience-reports.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/28 17:02 (external edit)