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The Maturing of the MOOC. Literature review of Massive Open Online Courses and other forms of Online Distance Learning

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. The Maturing of the MOOC. Literature review of Massive Open Online Courses and other forms of Online Distance Learning. 2013. Pages: 123.

Commissioned by the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, this report gives an overview of the existing literature on the topic of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The review study consists of three parts. After a brief explanation of MOOCs and a summary of the recent development in the field, the first chapter assesses the literature dealing with MOOCs. As such, the authors distinguish between three sources of literature on this topic:

  • informed critique compiled by researchers, policy stakeholders, or MOOC learners dealing with MOOCs as such. Literature on learners and MOOCs, be it statistical-based or individual learner reports are part of this category;
  • formal objective analyses commissioned by government authorities, consultancies or research centres; and
  • journalistic and press writing about MOOCs.

The study gives an overview of the discourse related to MOOCs and categorises different approaches towards the subject. Chapter two deals with business and financial issues and is similarly subdivided into three further parts:

  • issues related to production costs and sources of revenue;
  • accreditation and assessment issues; and
  • further specific issues such as questions related to the genuine innovation of MOOCs, completion and drop-out rates, technological matters, etc.

Chapter three end with conclusions, policy recommendations and potential further research recommendations. Throughout the study, a strong focus is being put on the general discourse around MOOCs and their potential impact on learning and higher education. 

For all those interested in MOOCs, a conference organised by The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education and i-Graduate International Insight will deal in more detail with questions on the impact of current developments in online learning. The conference will take place on 11-12 December 2013 in London and will offer an opportunity to discuss online learning developments and their impact on student mobility, gaining of qualifications and international networks.

For further information on the review study 
For further information on the upcoming conference