Conference paper Open Access

Can Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) be considered as Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Stracke, Christian M.; Downes, Stephen; Conole, Grainne; Burgos, Daniel; Nascimbeni, Fabio

Open Education has changed many times over the last decades: After a first boom in the middle of the last century, there was a decline in interest. In our current century, Open Education gained more popularity through the introduction of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Nevertheless, the current focus is different from the past. This article is the start of a series to contribute to a better grasp of the complexity that Open Education is covering. It is a challenge as it is not an empirical article but philosophical argumentation: It discusses the question whether MOOCs can be considered as OER. Open Education and OER can be seen and treated as two strands with different developments even though, in theory, OER belongs to Open Education. Different OER definitions and typologies are analyzed and compared in relation to their dimensions and categorizations. Furthermore, the four conditions and two original types of MOOCs are discussed leading to a debate on their quality. It turns out that there are two perspectives of MOOCs: From the OER point of view, MOOCs as a product can be called an OER if they are fulfilling the OER definition and requirements. From the Open Education point of view, MOOCs are going beyond OER as enablers of Open Education understood as innovative concept and methodology for changing education towards collaborative and moderated learning experiences. That is reflected by the dimensions of the introduced OpenEd Quality Framework and is confirming the need of the two distinctions. Therefore the short answer to our leading question: "Are MOOCs Open Educational Resources?" is: sometimes and it depends from the perspective that you take.


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