Aug 23 2017

MOOC – from global to local

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) as an educational phenomenon is in constant development, both on a national and global scale. A group of NIFU researchers presents finds and perspectives on the topic in a new publication, with emphasis on two current and contrasting understandings of MOOC.

Five years after 2012, the so-called “year of the MOOC” according to The New York Times, Massive Open Online Courses have become an established part of the digital learning topic, with different branches of development and ways of understanding these online courses. NIFU researchers Cathrine E. Tømte, Arne Martin Fevolden and Siri Aanstad have explored how different countries, including Norway, have accepted MOOCs.

MOOCs originated in the US from a collaboration between tech-firms such as edX, Coursera and Udacity, and universities and research institutions such as Harvard and MiT. The idea was to offer online courses, with well renowned academics, open to the public. Today these courses are practiced and offered by many institutions all over the world.

The article explores MOOCs in the current state of development. Among the findings, two contrasting perspectives on MOOCs are highlighted: «the global interruption view» and «the national mediation view». MOOCs in Norway are presented as a case study to further explore how MOOCs are spreading on a global scale while being influenced by national educational systems. It seems that MOOCs develop more as national initiatives than global.

The article can be read here: «Massive, open, online, and national? A study of how national governments and institutions shape the development of MOOCs”.

For more information, contact:
Cathrine E. Tømte, Research Professor, Higher Education
(+47) 960 94 014