What’ We’ve Learned From MOOCs: A quick reflection of a reflection


I’ve ready today the articley by Candance Thille, John Mictchell and Mitchell Stevens entitled “What we’ve learned from MOOCs“. The authors make a small reflection (from a USA perspective, I have to say) about what MOOC ARE NOT what they were expected to be.

Summarizing their main ideas:

  1. MOOCs are not college courses, but “somewhere betweeen a digital textbook and a successful college course”.
  2. MOOCs do not solve inequality.
  3. MOOCs are replicating the conventional (and passive) classroom teaching.
  4. MOOCs have opened up an opportunity to support the science of learning.

I totally agree with the 4 points, since all have been supported by several research publication. However, I must say that this reflects the more american perspective from the MOOCs. In Europe, we never believed that these was going to be the PANACEA of Higher education- this also has to do with our Educational System, which is public and much less expensive that in the states-.  Instead, we see MOOCs as an opportunity to transform Higher Education institutions, working as a catalyst for transforming our traditional teaching and learning practices.

In fact, and according to what we had the opportunity to discuss with some colleagues at the HybridED WS held at the ECTEL conference 2015, I see MOOCs as:

  1. An opportunity to boost Hybrid Pedagogies (flipped classroom, blended learning…)
  2. An opportunity to learn about what does work in our Higher Institutions and what does not.
  3. An opportunity to extend the traditional curriculum with  new models as the ones proposed in Delgado Kloos et al., 2015, Zhang et al., 2013, or Griffiths et al. (2014).
  4. An opportunity to help our students improve their self-regulated skills to become actual life-long learners.


  1. Delgado Kloos, C., Muñoz-Merino, P. J., Alario-Hoyos, C., Ayres, I. E., & Fernández-Panadero, C. Mixing and Blending MOOC Technologies with Face-to-Face Pedagogies.
  2. Griffiths R., et al. (2014). Interactive online learning on campus: Testing MOOCs and other hybrid formats in the University System of Maryland. New York: Ithaka S+R.
  3. Zhang, Y. (2013) Benefiting from MOOC. World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, 2013(1): 1372-1377