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E-learning Project results Massive Open Online Courses

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)


Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free, open, online courses. You can enroll for every course you have interest in. Your age or prior education does not matter - everybody can participate! You can decide for yourself when you want to work on the courses and what amount of time you would like to spend on them.

In September 2014, the University of Groningen launched its first free online course called ‘Decision Making in a Complex and Uncertain World’. In Spring 2015 the following courses followed: ‘Introduction to Dutch’, ‘Religion and Conflict’, and ‘Why do we Age? The Molecular Mechanisms of Ageing’. All-in-all over 80,000 students worldwide have joined one or more of our free courses on the British online learning platform FutureLearn (part of the Open University).

MOOCs are very useful for the University of Groningen as they are a valuable addition to our existing courses and enables our educators and researchers to reach a global audience. The university’s aims for MOOCs are to:

  •         Showcase our excellent education and research as part of the University of Groningen brand name all over the world.
  •         Attract more staff and students worldwide that decide to come and study or work here.
  •         Start new international collaborations.
  •         Find out how this online form of educations works and can stimulate education and innovation.
  •         Perform data analysis on study behaviour.

Creating and teaching a MOOC is a big challenge for our educators; they have to reinvent the way they look at how they should teach. These course differ in structure and presentation and educators should be aware that their classroom is a global one. Also for learners MOOCs have something to offer, as they are now able to study for free, at home (or anywhere), at their own pace and can select a wide range of courses, but still be able to communicate and learn from other students and teachers. With an appreciation rate of over 95% for its first Massive Open Online Course, and over 34.000 enrollments for the MOOC ' Introduction to Dutch ', the University is confident that they have provided a service that people are looking for.

To find out about all of Groningen's free online courses, please visit the University of Groningen MOOC Facebook page , our website or our Partner page with all our upcoming courses on the FutureLearn website.

Want to make a MOOC yourself?

If you like the idea of reaching thousands of students and sharing your educational and research qualities with a global audience, please contact Tom Spits ( t.spits ) first. He is MOOC Coordinator at the University of Groningen at the Educational Support and Innovation department. For more information about all the aspects of creating a MOOC, you can have a look on the page concerning what it entails to make a MOOC.

Last modified:12 March 2020 10.13 p.m.
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