Assessing MOOC quality

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

Go back to your SMART goals of Week 1; can studying a MOOC help you achieve these goals? 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 how the course fits in with your SMART goals. Your entry will help us crowdsource a list of MOOCs for professional development.


Next: Success in a MOOC

Last modified: Wednesday, 14 Mar 2018, 10:08