Emerging Patterns in MOOC: learners, course designs and directions

Hamish Macleod, Jeff Haywood, Amy Woodgate, Mubarak Alkhatnai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Engagement with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at the University of Edinburgh has emerged from its strategic priorities to explore and innovate in the area of online and technologically supported approaches to teaching and learning. This paper provides an account of analysis aimed at understanding who Edinburgh MOOC learners are, who elects to participate and the aspirations of that population, and the place that the MOOC will occupy in the University’s online learning ecology. The analysis addresses a number of predictions that have been made about MOOCs since 2012, including their use for providing educational opportunities to the disadvantaged; global uptake of online learning; growth of an ‘educational imperialism’; and the claim that ‘MOOCs are for male geeks’, and concludes with some observations about the University of Edinburgh’s future plans in this space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
Issue number1
Early online date21 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • digital education
  • higher education
  • MOOCs
  • widening participation


Dive into the research topics of 'Emerging Patterns in MOOC: learners, course designs and directions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this