Factors leading to effective teaching of MOOCs

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to survey the factors which facilitate effective teaching through massive open online courses (MOOCs). Design/methodology/approach: A descriptive meta-analysis was conducted to first examine the literature covering the characteristics of teaching in MOOCs, the profile of participants, the instructional design of course materials and/or the course assessment methods – and then to summarise the factors which are conducive to the teaching effectiveness of MOOCs. A random sample of MOOCs was then reviewed to sort out the extent to which the factors can be identified in these courses. Findings: The factors leading to effective teaching of MOOCs revolve around six areas according to the stages of course delivery, namely, preparation, attraction, participation, interaction, consolidation and post-course support. They address the application of technology to achieve educational purposes, while coping with the potentials and constraints of the MOOC environment. In practice, however, existing MOOCs show varying degrees of the implementation of the factors. Research limitations/implications: As this is an exploratory study summarising and categorising the factors, further work should be done, in particular on the proper adoption of these factors in teaching, their effectiveness and ways of assessing such effectiveness. Originality/value: The factors identified will help institutions and academics who plan to offer MOOCs to be aware of how teaching can be best delivered to promote effective student learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-118
Number of pages14
JournalAsian Association of Open Universities Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Massive open online courses (MOOC)
  • Online teaching
  • Teaching effectiveness


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