Designing Massive Open Online Learning Processes: The importance of the social element

Francis Brouns, António Texeira, Lina Morgado, Santiago Fano, Aquilina Fueyo, Darco Jansen

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    MOOCs as provision of open and online education have become phenomena in higher education that can’t be dismissed. While MOOCs might have originated in the US, the model used there does not fit well with the European take on education. In this chapter we describe an alternative more collaborative approach of MOOC design. This approach is based on a model already tested in practice and has been further elaborated and evaluated in the ECO project. The pedagogical framework is based on the notion that MOOCs should be designed to accommodate the specific context of open online education with its heterogeneity of learner needs. It differs very much from a traditional classroom approach and needs to put the learner center-stage in a social networked learning environment. We describe the characteristics of such a pedagogical framework and explain how digital inclusion, ubiquitous learning and gamification can provide affordances for active participation of learners that meet the learners’ needs. We illustrate how these aspects have been implemented in ECO sMOOCs and provide the first, positive, user evaluations of this approach.

    This is a pre-print for personal use only.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOpen Education: from OERs to MOOCs
    EditorsM. Jemni, M. Koutheair Khribi, Kinshuk
    Place of PublicationBerlin, Heidelberg
    PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
    Number of pages26
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-662-52925-6
    ISBN (Print)978-3-662-52923-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Publication series

    SeriesLecture Notes in Educational Technology


    • ECO
    • MOOC
    • open online education
    • sMOOC
    • European MOOC design
    • social, connectivist
    • collaborative model


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