Adding value: open online learning and the MBA

Rachel Fitzgerald, Maggie Anderson, Ross Thompson

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


A range of issues have emerged through the design of a MOOC project known as Gateway MBA. The Gateway MBA Project aims to extend the MBA Programme at Northampton Business School and this MOOC has a number of intentions. From a pedagogical perspective the MOOC was created to give the student insight into the demands of postgraduate study while introducing a core area of the MBA, Critical Issues in Business. Evidence suggests that MOOCs are being used as a strategic tool to explore alternative models of course delivery (Allen & Seaman, 2013) and in this instance the MOOC aims to increase recruitment to the MBA internationally and to raise the profile of the university. While there are risks in this strategy, the Gateway project team see a potential to introduce and market the MBA to a global audience through open online learning, raising the university brand profile and expanding the eLearning horizons of those involved in the project and beyond. This paper will consider recurring themes in the literature in the context of the design and delivery of the Gateway MBA. It is clear that reconciling MOOC values and aims with educational quality and learner satisfaction standards is problematic so this paper considers how we developed and embed innovations in the areas of technology and academic cultural practices in order to meet this challenge. Finally we will consider the issues and challenges in the design and delivery of a MOOC and will offer future considerations for sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalElectronic Journal of e-Learning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2015


  • MOOC
  • open practice
  • peer collaboration
  • disruptive technologies
  • MBA
  • online curriculum design


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