Revolutionizing training and education? Three questions regarding massive open online courses (MOOCs)

Justin M Weinhardt, Traci Sitzmann
Human Resource Management Review,Vol. 29, Issue 2, Pages: 218-225.
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and represents an instructional approach that permits hundreds of thousands of students to access online courses anywhere around the world and typically free of charge. There have been a number of stories in the popular press suggesting that MOOCs may revolutionize training and education, but evidence regarding the instructional effectiveness of MOOCs is primarily anecdotal and overarching statistics reveal that the vast majority of students drop out before completing these courses. We pose three questions that need to be answered about the use and effectiveness of MOOCs before MOOCs can be considered a credible and useful instructional approach: 1) Who enrolls in MOOCs and why do they enroll? 2) Are students self-aware and able to self-regulate their learning in MOOCs? 3) Are MOOCs effective and how can we maximize their effectiveness?