Beyond Learning and Completion: A Search for a Development-oriented Model for MOOC

Melinda dela Pena Bandalaria
University of the Philippines Open University
Los Baños, the Philippines

It was predicted that MOOCs would disrupt conventional education because of the revolutionary position it assumed in terms of openness of access to learning, as well as to educational institutions which in the past proved to be so exclusive and inaccessible. Because of the massive enrolment and the design of course delivery, the course completion rate has become the main focus in evaluating MOOCs. Over the last few years, several models have been adopted in an effort to sustain students’ interest in MOOCs, such as various mechanisms by which a learner can obtain a certificate, MOOC-4-Credit, and as a tool for development. The UP Open University has positioned MOOC as a tool for development in the design of its MOOCs. This paper examines how successful the UPOU has been in this attempt by answering the following research questions: (1) Did the MOOCs reach the target learners the University hoped to have on its MOOCs?; (2) How do other learning institutions view MOOCs offered by the UPOU and what models can they adopt to make use of MOOCs?; (3) Are the MOOCs’ Certificates acceptable to industries?; (4) Are there success stories from the MOOC learners/completers?; and (5) What models for MOOCs can be recommended to fulfil its potential as a tool for development.

These questions are answered by analysing the documented process of UPOU’s MOOC offerings since 2013 for a total of ten MOOCs. The results of this study, hopefully, can also provide insights to other academic institutions which may want to use MOOCs for development.