1 Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
2 Tomsk State University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 5948-5957
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.1605
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
The prerequisites for widespread dissemination of online learning in Russia are associated with the need to improve the quality of education, the requirements for ensuring transparency of the learning content and increasing confidence in learning outcomes, increasing the flexibility of planning the educational process and motivating students.

The key element of modern online learning at universities is massive open online courses (MOOCs), which are the type of online courses containing logically and structurally completed didactic units.

The main drivers of MOOCs creation and online learning development are universities. The active development of online learning at Russian universities started in 2017 by the implementation of national priority project “Modern Digital Educational Environment in the Russian Federation”. It assumed that in 2020 digital certificates will be implemented in all the universities and 80% of the content of educational programs will be available as open online courses. Nowadays the Russian aggregator of online courses “Single Window Resource” presents more than 1130 online courses from 125 universities on 39 Russian platforms.

We analyzed cases of few leading Russian universities and identifying the most common motives, which push them to produce MOOCs. Let’s look at 5 of the most popular reasons:
1. The need to increase the quality of learning. MOOCs help to solve the problems of individualization and developing pedagogical personnel. In addition, MOOCs contribute to creation an excess educational environment. Using methods and tools of psychometrics in the complex with technical ability to update content systematically and run the virtual mobility ensure high-quality education and create sustainable motivation for students.
2. Branding and recruiting needs. Universities can solve the problem of branding through MOOCs placed on the largest international platforms. Usually access to these platforms for universities as content providers is limited by the requirements to universities’ status and the quality of MOOCs. Today only 8 Russian universities are represented on the Coursera platform. MOOCs allow recruiting the best applicants, researchers and teachers.
3. Monetization of online courses. Just a few Russian universities manage to receive a steady income from certification at MOOCs. It requires reducing the cost of production and support, which is not easy in terms of keeping quality.
4. The social mission of universities. MOOCs ensure the availability of the best online courses from leading universities in the world for all who are able to study. It provides lifelong learning opportunities and forms a culture of this lifestyle at a high-quality level. In the vast territory of Russia MOOCs are becoming one of the few high-quality resources for constant education of the population.
5. Management facilitation. Unfortunately, often the motives for Russian universities to produce MOOCs are orders from the ministry, the need to fulfill rating indicators, the pressure to reduce staff teachers and replace them with virtual ones.

While dealing with online courses it is important to understand which goals the university tries to reach by creation of MOOCs. The correct choice of a platform, the amount of involved resources and reached the quality of learning depend on understanding the complexity of the goals that MOOCs can help to reach. It is important to understand that the MOOC format is not suitable for all tasks.
Online-learning in Russia, quality of education, MOOC, MOOCs in Russian universities, branding, recruiting, educational management, lifelong learning.