1st Edition

The Diffusion and Social Implications of MOOCs A Comparative Study of the USA and Europe

By Valentina Goglio Copyright 2022
    256 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Chapter 9 of this book is available for free in PDF format as Open Access from the individual product page at www.routledge.com. It has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

    Since their first appearance in 2011, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been at the centre of a great deal of media attention, owing to their disruptive potential in education. As university-level courses delivered free-of charge on digital platforms, they have also been the occasion of conflicting views regarding the quality of education and the future configuration of higher education systems. Based on new empirical research, including qualitative interviews as well as quantitative data from learners across several MOOCs, this book contributes to the debate by providing a comparative study of the diffusion and social implications of MOOCs in the USA, where everything started, and in Europe, where MOOCs were belatedly adopted by higher education institutions but now exhibit remarkable growth. Investigating the impact of MOOCs at macro level, on national higher education systems, as well as the social implications of MOOCs at micro level, with particular attention to the opportunities offered to learners to acquire knowledge and skills The Diffusion and Social Implications of MOOCs provides an encompassing comparative investigation of the specificity and social implications of the diffusion of MOOCs in two geographically and institutionally diverse contexts. As such, it will appeal to social scientists with interests in new technologies and higher education.

    1. Introduction


    2. History of MOOCs: what are MOOCs, where do they come from and where are they headed?

    3. MOOCs in context: the evolution of MOOCs in the USA and in Europe


    4. MOOCs and inequalities of educational opportunities. A review

    5. Beyond curiosity: why enroll on a MOOC?

    6. It is a long way until the end. Patterns of enrolment on, participation in, and completion of MOOCs


    7. Returns to education and the structure of labour market

    8. MOOCs for the job

    9. Conclusions

    10. Methodological Appendix

    Foreword (Sonia Bertolini)

    Foreword (Paolo Parigi)



    Valentina Goglio is Assistant Professor of Economic Sociology in the Department of Culture, Politics and Society at the University of Turin, Italy. She has been Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow with the project MOOC_DaSI.