End Week Summary 5 – The endless search for a functional MOOC

Is there a community in a MOOC and what is it like? Is there still a community without interaction. Without any doubt there is a potential in digital education through MOOCs. For university education as described by Rebecca Paddick  on edtechnology or as a possibility for the poor, the marginalized or those living in remote areas.

“Massive Open Online Courses, otherwise known as MOOCs, could have the potential to widen global access to higher education, particularly where higher education is currently in short supply” Diana Laurillard and Eileen Kennedy, 2017) 

Other sources highlight that even though there is a potential, there are not many making use of the potential or the way how the respective MOOCs are presented do not reach the intended target group, aren’t attractive and/or interactive or don’t develop a community as we see it in other social media platforms, blogs, etc. An interesting article  by Derek Newton in Forbes online highlights the current situation of reletively low course completition rates. 

In week 6 I enrolled myself in 4 tech or ed-tech courses.

In search for the community in these MOOCs, most results of online discussions show no content.

Even though only taking part in the course actions for research, there is already the feeling of isolation and loneliness.

The important questions for distance and digital learning opportunities is to what extend online community building is relevant for successful courses. Personally I found a functioning, interactive MOOC – but not in a tech related subject. Maybe this is another relevant issue!



  • Derek Newton (2018). Not even teacher – bots will save massive open online courses. Forbes, published August 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/dereknewton/2018/08/22/not-even-teacher-bots-will-save-massive-open-online-courses/#7508ac2d2bb0
  • Diana Laurillard and Eileen Kennedy (2017). The potential of MOOCs  for learning at scale in the  Global South. Centre for Global Higher Education working paper series, published December 2017,  https://www.researchcghe.org/perch/resources/publications/wp31.pdf
  • Education Technology (2017). MOOCs’ massive potenial, published October 2017, https://edtechnology.co.uk/Article/moocs-massive-potential/