On Human Terms – A First Evaluation of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Ergonomics

  • Martina Berglund
  • Anna-Lisa Osvalder
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 821)


The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ‘Work and Technology on Human Terms’ ( was launched in July 2017 with the aim to contribute to safer and healthier workplaces by increasing the knowledge about how products, systems, and work organizations can be designed on human terms. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a first evaluation of the MOOC. The online course was used in four different university courses in Ergonomics in Sweden, two given at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and two given at Linköping University. The MOOC material was used in different ways in the courses: (1) suggested voluntary, alternative material for the students’ self-studies, (2) scheduled activity for self-studies with appointed chapters, and (3) mandatory, selected course material being discussed in follow-up seminars. Data for the evaluation was collected through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with students and teachers. The results showed that the MOOC served as a repetition of lectured material and gave increased understanding of the theories. The recorded interviews with practitioners and researchers in the MOOC highlighted the importance of the subject in real working life. The knowledge tests were appreciated as rehearsal of understanding. However, the MOOC in parallel with the other course material was also considered to be too much work by some students. A recommendation is to carefully consider how to use and integrate the MOOC as a meaningful, individual, theoretical learning activity for the students. Thereby the lectures in classroom could focus more on discussions and problem-solving regarding the topics and less on basic theory.


Higher education Blended learning Human factors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HELIX Competence Centre and Division of Logistics and Quality ManagementLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  2. 2.Design & Human FactorsChalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden
  3. 3.Ergonomics and Aerosol TechnologyLundSweden

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