Eliciting the challenges and opportunities organizations face when delivering open online education: A group-concept mapping study

Martine Schophuizen, Karel Kreijns, Slavi Stoyanov, Marco Kalz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The global attention for open online education (OOE) caused a situation in which higher education institutions (HEIs) reconsider the way they deliver education to the population. With a funding policy, the Dutch Government aims to stimulate OOE in HEIs. The goal is to create more expedient, accessible and personalized learning experiences, that contribute to an improvement of quality of education and study success. However, many projects are failing to embed OOE within the institution. In this study, we elicited the challenges and opportunities of OOE projects within an organizational context of Dutch HEIs by using group concept mapping. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical clustering resulted in a cluster map and a pattern match graph for interpreting the experts' ideas and opinions, clarifying and structuring the collective understanding. Core themes that represent the challenges and opportunities with regard to OOE identified in this study were: 1. Online teaching, 2. Supporting mechanisms, 3. Assessment, 4. External target groups, 5. Educational flexibility, 6. Quality of education, 7. Institutional reputation, and 8. Educational efficiency. The results indicated a skills gap among edu- cators and a lack of central support for the development of OOE. Organizational efforts to implement OOE should take educational flexibility and online teaching into account and support mechanisms for OOE should be provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
JournalThe Internet and Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Open online education
  • MOOCs
  • Higher education
  • Educational innovation
  • Organizational research
  • Group concept mapping

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  • Projects

    SOONER: The Structuration of Open Online Education in the Netherlands

    Kalz, M., Kester, L., van Rosmalen, P., Janssen, J., Van Leeuwen, A., Kreijns, K., Henderikx, M., Kasch, J., Jansen, R. & Schophuizen, M.


    Project: Research

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