The state of MOOCs in Europe analyzed

9 April, 2015

eadtu homeThe report “Institutional MOOC Strategies in Europe” is part of the European Union-funded HOME project (Higher Education Online: MOOCs the European Way) led by EADTU. Released a few weeks ago, it presents data on the perception and objectives of European higher education institutions on MOOCs and the main drivers behind the MOOC movement. The methodology consisted on a survey answered by 67 institutions from 22 countries serving 2.8 million students.

Respondents were generally reluctant to introducing fees on MOOCs with a few exceptions, e.g. MOOCs leading to formal credit as part of an accredited curriculum. Also, it appears to be no general consensus when it comes to the limits of “openness”. Some respondents described fixing a start and end date as necessary, while others defended self-paced courses. Another finding was that from 10 MOOC-drivers gathered from relevant literature, three were in general defined as not relevant: increasing shared services and unbundling (that is, outsourcing internal processes), reducing the costs of higher education and envisioning MOOCs as a new method in a big [$7 trillion] business.

The attitude toward MOOCs in Europe is currently much more positive than it is in the US. One reason is the presence of the ECTS framework in Europe, which provides a sound base for recognition of credentials across institutions and borders – though this recognition has not been implemented yet at any institution. Also, while in Europe about half of surveyed population believes MOOCs are a sustainable method for offering courses, the rate drops to 20% for the US.

The conclusions above are only a sample of the many contained in the report. The full document with complete information can be downloaded here.

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