This course is discontinued

UV9914H2 – Open Online Education: Research approaches to investigating organizational and learning aspects of the MOOC phenomenon

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The model of instruction provided by educational institutions has dominated teaching and learning for two millenniums. Alternative models such as distance education, open universities, home education, and corporate universities have played only a marginal role. Over the past five years the institutional model has been challenged by massive open online courses (MOOC), enabled by Internet technologies and reusable educational resources. The phenomenon is not new, but it has persistently failed in the past. It has been hampered by difficulty to use tools and lack of high quality, relevant educational resources. Examples are online video lectures and synchronous and asynchronous forums for interaction with peers, student assistants, and teachers. However, during the past five years several successful MOOCs have been launched, taught by famous teachers, and attracted students from all over the world (enrollments up to 100,000 have been reported). This course will analyze the reasons for the sudden popularity and engage in critical discussion of the hype that surrounds it.

Research is currently lagging behind, but educational researchers, course developers, and policy makers need to know what the fundamentals of open online education are and how online courses that attract a large audience can be researched and better understood. This course is multidisciplinary and presents two perspectives on the phenomenon:

1) teaching and learning mediated by technology;

2) higher education.

We address both the “nuts and bolts” and research methods, for each of the two perspectives.

Tentative plan for the course (doc)

Learning outcome

Understanding of the fundamentals of the MOOC phenomenon and methods for researching it, in particular implications for

a) teaching and Learning

b) higher education


PhD candidates at the Faculty of Educational Sciences will be given priority, but it is also possible for others to apply for the course. Applicants must have at least a Master's degree.

Candidates admitted to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Educational Sciences should apply through Studentweb

Other applicants may apply using this application form

Registration deadline: November 9, 2014.


Open lectures and seminars.

This is an intensive course over two days, each with 7 hours of lectures, totaling 14 hours.

Date: 24-25 November 2014.

You will find the timetable and literature on the semester webpage for this course.


To obtain 1 study point 80% attendance in the course is required.

To obtain 3 study points participants need to submit a paper (5-7 pages, Times New Roman 12, line spacing 1,5).

Paper can be submitted in advance and be presented during the seminar, or can be submitted within 2 weeks after the course.

Papers are to be submitted electronically to Anders I. Mørch ( with a copy to Olga Mukhina (

Language of examination


Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2014

Teaching language