What (Use) is a MOOC?

  • Russell BoyattEmail author
  • Mike Joy
  • Claire Rocks
  • Jane SinclairEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Complexity book series (SPCOM)


The phenomenon of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) has spread with amazing speed. Many universities in the USA and Europe are now joining up with MOOC providers to allow free access to courses. Participant numbers for an individual course may reach hundreds of thousands. Expectations are high for what these courses can achieve in terms of opening access, widening participation and cost saving. In this paper we conduct a literature review to examine what is known about MOOCs (both those following the original connectivist model and the more traditionally didactic variety) and what indications there are that they can live up to such expectations. We discuss concerns arising from the review and identify issues including lack of evidence, absence of pedagogy, lack of support and unrealistic expectations particularly on beginner learners.


Learning Objective Massive Open Online Course Digital Artefact Press Article Cheap Option 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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