The MOOC Revolution – massive open online courses: the answer to problems facing education or an experiment that could destroy centuries of tradition.


  • Katharine Jewitt The Open University and University of Glasgow



Technology Enhanced Learning, MOOCs, personalised learning, Higher Education


Given the emerging nature of massive open online courses (MOOCs), this paper is a synthesis of critical reflections, commentaries and cautionary tales from a variety of perspectives, looking at the issues facing education and considering whether traditional teaching methods have outlived their usefulness.In times where educational institutions are facing financial cuts and student debt increases, some argue free university online courses will be the saviour of education, (Koller et al, 2013). Others argue they could destroy centuries of tradition and threaten some of the world's greatest universities (Vardi 2012).This paper, builds on the research by examining some of the phenomenal changes to technology enhanced learning, being brought about by new technologies and business. It summarises some of the key discourses around MOOCs, which continue to generate heated debates and divide opinions about their credibility, value and importance. I argue that any form of technology that drives engaging and tailored education, precisely to the needs of the individuals, coupled with opening up education to those that cannot afford it, has to be a viable alternative and make traditional, academic institutions question their offerings and respond.  

Author Biography

Katharine Jewitt, The Open University and University of Glasgow

Katharine Jewitt works as an Educational Technology Consultant and is a researcher in virtual reality at The University of Glasgow. Katharine is also an Associate Lecturer and Visiting Honorary Associate at The Open University.  


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