About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8287-8291
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0891

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain


M. Hadi, E. Owen, D. Petronzi

University of Derby (UNITED KINGDOM)
The need for quality assurance for MOOCs:
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have typically been hosted on external platforms that do not necessitate quality assurance, leading to varied standards of MOOCs. Academic standards of higher education programmes in UK are typically ensured by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), although the organisation chose not to regulate MOOCs to minimise their restrictiveness (Quality Assurance Agency, 2014). Thus, UK MOOCs have no obligatory quality requirements. Whilst MOOCs allow for the incorporation of latest technologies and practices, concerns remained that educators may perceive MOOCs as a diminished educational experience. However, a necessary caveat for their implementation is quality assurance.

Quality Assurance for MOOCs at the University of Derby:
Typically, MOOCs are not required to meet a quality standard and their implementation does not proceed a validation process. However, they may be assessed against the standards of short non-credit bearing courses, the process is unsuitable for MOOCs that attract a wide variety of learners, rather than a specific audience. However, the UoD adapted its short non-credit bearing courses validation process and added rigour by implementing a distinct MOOC validation process in order to provide quality courses to a global audience. This centred on ensuring that: courses are activity driven in the design process; tutors are accessible to learners; courses encourage a social constructionist approach to learning, there are flexible online tools; and that learners also develop online learning skills. To further strengthen the validation process and quality assurance of MOOCs, the UoD has used the OpenupEd framework, a pan-European MOOC initiative and quality benchmark, and embedded this as part of the MOOC development process. This framework is not intended to be restrictive, but to provide guidance to the persistent improvement of MOOC quality. This process ensures that MOOCs meet the same standards of quality as other programmes and consideration is also centred on the age range of learners that are likely to enrol. Quality assurance through the adoption of this framework has resulted in a higher observed completion rate for active learners across four University of Derby MOOCs (28.8%) in contrast to sector average of 5-8%. Finally, the stringent validation framework imposed on MOOCs by the UoD has enabled over 11,000 learners to access course materials, and has widened awareness of the university brand.

The University of Derby believes and can evidence that assuring the quality of MOOCs not only delivers a quality learning experience and improves completion rates (Hadi & Gagen, 2016) but also enhances their sustainability as a business model. In this presentation, we will share our validation and quality assurance process in detail, and link this to the success of our series of MOOCs that fit with the university’s wider portfolio and vision. We will also discuss our pedagogical design of MOOCs that ensures that there is something of appeal for each learner, and how we will measure the impact of MOOCs. We will also share research data around our MOOCs that showcase that quality assurance does indeed have an impact on broadening the appeal of the MOOCs and improving completion rates.
author = {Hadi, M. and Owen, E. and Petronzi, D.},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0891},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0891},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {8287-8291}}
AU - M. Hadi AU - E. Owen AU - D. Petronzi
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0891
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 8287
EP - 8291
ER -
M. Hadi, E. Owen, D. Petronzi (2016) QUALITY BENCHMARK FOR MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSES, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 8287-8291.