Instructional Quality of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Anoush Margaryan, Manuela Bianco, Allison Littlejohn

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We present an analysis of instructional design quality of 76 randomly selected Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The quality of MOOCs was determined from first principles of instruction, using a course survey instrument. Two types of MOOCs (xMOOCs and cMOOCs) were analysed and their instructional design quality was assessed and compared. We found that the majority of MOOCs scored poorly on most instructional design principles. However, most MOOCs scored highly on organisation and presentation of course material. The results indicate that although most MOOCs are well-packaged, their instructional design quality is low. We outline implications for practice and ideas for future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComputers & Education
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Massive Online Open Courses
  • Distributed learning environments
  • Evaluation methodologies
  • Lifelong learning
  • Pedagogical issues

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