MOOC Platforms: A Nordic Approach to Research Informed Education in Higher Education
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCEUR Workshop Proceedings. 2019, 2356 157-162.
Due to a growing demand for flexible lifelong learning, many universities will need to transform their educational strategies to meet societal demands to stay in business in a market where global competition with new technological tools such as educational Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms can transform the industry. In this article, we discuss a future approach for courses in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), inspired by the Nordic welfare state model, and MOOC platform technology. Contrary to many earlier MOOC initiatives, where access was free of charge and open to all, we see a commercial freemium trend on MOOC platforms. Now we see a trend towards short, free, “teaser” courses that encourage learners to pay for a certificate and to undertake quality assured and accredited micro-master courses hidden behind paywalls. This trend aligns with the principle of paid access to courses on campus in Higher Education in many countries. In this paper, we argue that MOOC platforms should be a vehicle to promote transparency, i.e. open access to high quality, research informed and instructionally designed course content, regardless of the nature of the course. In doing so, universities could contribute to strengthening the quality of content available to all learners on the Internet in the short term (e.g. Facebook Google, and YouTube) and in the long term (democracy, equity and academic thinking). The approach we propose is based on our contribution to a strategic policy document for further education at a larger Nordic university in 2018.