Introduction to MOOCs: Avalanche, Illusion or Augmentation?

The New York Times labeled 2012 ‘The Year of the MOOC’. Less than 24 months after the launch of the first massive open online course (MOOC) at Stanford University and with potentially over 5 million students around the world now registered with a MOOC platform, massive open online courses would appear to be a new and significant force within higher education (HE). However, it is still unclear what effect, if any, MOOCs will have on the HE sector in the longer term and whether their explosion in popularity has enough momentum to sustain their method of educational delivery.
This Policy Brief aims to provide a background to the expansion of MOOCs, explain their differences and similarities, identify the types of students using MOOCs, investigate their business models and potential direction, and finally to scope the risks and benefits associated with their development.

Publication year: 2013

Download publication