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E-learningPart of University of Groningen


For whom? Post-academic

How to make a MOOC?

The MOOC process is substantially different from designing and teaching a regular course. Please keep in mind that is costs a considerable amount of time, effort and resources and that only a limited amount of existing materials can be reused, as the MOOC setting does not always work best with materials that have proven themselves in a classroom setting.


Creating a MOOC takes around 9 months and consists of the following phases:

  1. Definition phase                                             ±2 months
  2. Design phase                                                 ±2-3 months
  3. Production phase (including course page)         ± 3 months
  4. Test phase                                                    5 weeks
  5. Live                                                              3-6 weeks
  6. Evaluation

Next to that, the marketing campaign will launch 3 months in advance. During this process you will encounter a lot of different stakeholders and work in a big team.                                                         


  1. Definition: During the definition phase, the following items will be discussed: goal, target audience, learning objectives, content, testing, the differences between a MOOC and an on-campus course, projectmanagement, project team and the MOOC platform. At the end, a course plan (including a draft design) will need to be provided, which needs approval from Educational Support and Innovation.
  2. Design: During the design phase all weeks, activities (themes) and steps are being worked out, storyboard are written and discussed with instructional designers, test experts and MOOC experts. Eventually, a course design and storyboard will need to be provided, which needs approval from Educational Support and Innovation.
  3. Production: During the production phase, all videos are shot and after 2-3 editing rounds subtitles will be added. Next to that, all other course materials will be uploaded to the platform. This should be finished 5 weeks before the course starts. Besides this, a course page (look at the FutureLearn website for examples) needs to be published 3 months before the course launches. This should contain a course description and a trailer. Before the course page can be published, Educational Support and Innovation needs to approve this.
  4. Marketing: The moment the course page is published, the marketing campaign starts. At this moment the department making the MOOC is leading the marketing activities and central marketing supports some of the activities. This may change in the future. We recommend including the marketing team in an early stage of the development process to see how the course can best be promoted.
  5. Test: The test phase takes 5 weeks, during which MOOC Coordinator, test experts, instructional designers, student testers and FutureLearn will provide feedback. Because this is an open course with a large reach, quality assurance is essential. In this phase a lot of editing needs to be done.
  6. Live: The live phase is relatively quiet as most of the work has been done before. Still , some monitoring and mentoring will need to be done and educators can join in the discussions. Sometimes we will organize a google hangout to emphasize a certain topical item or make the course more interactive. Also, weekly emails will be sent out to stimulate the learning process.
  7. Evaluation: After the course, FutureLearn and ESI will provide the content team with reports and the course will be evaluated to make it ready for multiple re-runs that will follow.

Stakeholders in the process of creating a MOOC
Stakeholders in the process of creating a MOOC


A normal budget look like the one below, but can vary, depending on how educators are compensated and how much video is needed. The funding for a MOOC will have to be provided by the department themselves.

Item Costs
Video development 15,000.-
Video transcripts 1,000.-
ESI support 12,000.-
Trailer development 2,250.- to 2,500.-
Copyrighted materials (optional) 1,500.-
Teaching assistant 11,382.-
Educators 28,000.-
Marketing 2,000.-
Total ± 69,000.-


If you have any more questions, please contact Tom Spits, t.spits

Last modified:12 October 2016 10.22 a.m.
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