Assessing MOOCs

How do I know a MOOC is right for me?

Well, that depends very much on why you want to do a MOOC in the first place. For example, if you are looking to upscale your skills and/or find a better job, you may look for a course that requires you to build a portfolio; this is something you will be able to show to future employers. 

Before undertaking a MOOC, you may wish to review its quality, and also ensure that it meets your learning needs. There are a number of ways you can identify and assess the quality of a MOOC:

  • Look for a clear description of the course – including the breakdown of the modules available, its intended learning goals and outcomes; do they match your requirements?
  • Examine the materials available on the course – ensure the video is of high quality, and that there are e-books and other high quality materials available to download as part of the course.
  • Who is the provider of the MOOC? Has it come from a reputable university or other provider?
  • Is the MOOC on one of the recognised platforms? It doesn’t have to be, as many universities have developed MOOCs on their own platform, but if it is on a platform such as Coursera, FutureLearn, etc that will indicate it has been through their agreed production process.
  • Are there opportunities to work in groups and with other participants – to share ideas and experience, through the use of online communication tools? Can you interact with an instructor? 
  • Will you receive continuous feedback and tracking of progression?
  • Does the MOOC offer a certificate or statement of participation?
  • Check to see if the MOOC has been based on the regular courses of a formal programme.
  • Look for some sort of quality label or evidence of a quality assurance process.


Activity 2.4 Crowdsourcing MOOCs for professional development Allow at least 45 minutes for this activity

Visit one of the platforms mentioned in this week's 'Finding relevant MOOCs' section and choose a MOOC that you would like to do. Review the quality of the course following the above prompts. When you are ready, share a link to your chosen MOOC in this forum and write a few lines explaining what you like about it and why. Your entry will help us crowdsource a list of MOOCs for professional development.


Next: Success in a MOOC

Last modified: Thursday, 28 Sep 2017, 18:05