Challenges in the Creation, Development and Implementation of MOOCs: Web Science Course at the University of Southampton




MOOC, e-learning, facilitation, technology, university, course, Web Science, resources


Massive is one of the distinctive features of MOOCs which differentiate them from other e-learning experiences. This massiveness entails certain possibilities, but also some challenges that must be taken into consideration when designing and implementing a Massive Open Online Course, in relation to context, work progress, learning activities, assessment, and feedback. This document presents an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the massive aspect of MOOCs, and specifically it narrates the experience of creating a MOOC on Web Science, developed at the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) using the new FutureLearn platform, in autumn 2013. In this document, the importance of Web Science as an emerging field is analyzed and its origins explored. The experience gained from the decisions and the work progress developed for the creation and implementation of a specific MOOC is also shared here. The final section of the paper analyses some data from the MOOC in Web Science, including the participation index, the comments and interactions of some participants, tools used, and the organization of facilitation. Challenges involved in running a MOOC related to course design, platform use and course facilitation are also discussed..