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Sustainability of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): Beyond Business Models

, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Mexico ; , University of Northampton, United Kingdom ; , Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Mexico

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Amsterdam, Netherlands Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


In spite of the popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), their sustainability is still a matter of concern. This paper reports on the views of 21 European individuals involved in designing, developing, or delivering MOOCs. Semi-structured interviews provided information on the following key areas: 1) characteristics of a sustainable MOOC, 2) strategies to ensure sustainability, and 3) challenges. Findings show that a sustainable MOOC requires more than an underlying business model. It should successfully achieve its goals and maximise its benefits. While most participants agreed that a sustainable design is content-based and self-paced, some emphasised the need of a teacher and a community to support learning in MOOCs. Strategies to ensure MOOC sustainability include generating revenue sources, reducing delivery costs and relying on philanthropy. Participants commented on three main challenges: lack of time, institutional MOOC policies and funding.


Padilla Rodriguez, B.C., Armellini, A. & de la Garza Escamilla, S.L. (2018). Sustainability of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): Beyond Business Models. In T. Bastiaens, J. Van Braak, M. Brown, L. Cantoni, M. Castro, R. Christensen, G. Davidson-Shivers, K. DePryck, M. Ebner, M. Fominykh, C. Fulford, S. Hatzipanagos, G. Knezek, K. Kreijns, G. Marks, E. Sointu, E. Korsgaard Sorensen, J. Viteli, J. Voogt, P. Weber, E. Weippl & O. Zawacki-Richter (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 1641-1647). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved December 16, 2018 from .

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