A comparison of MOOC development and delivery approaches

Neil Smith, Helen Caldwell, Mike Richards, Arosha Bandara

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


We present a comparison of two ways of developing and delivering MOOCs. One was developed by the Open University in collaboration with FutureLearn; the other was developed independently by a small team at Northampton University. The different approaches had very different profiles of pedagogic flexibility, cost, development processes, institutional support, and participant numbers. This comparison shows that, even several years after MOOCs came to prominence, there is a range of viable approaches for MOOCs. MOOCs on existing large platforms can reach many thousands of people, but constrain pedagogical choice. Smaller, self-made MOOCs have smaller audiences but can target them more effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)152-164
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Information and Learning Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2017


  • Distance learning
  • computer-based learning
  • E-learning
  • open learning


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