Survey reveals the training potential of MOOCs for web skills

05 May 2014

The first results of an online survey which was carried out amongst students, entrepreneurs, leaders of innovation support programs, developers, and MOOC providers are just released. The survey aimed to identify the web skills which are most in demand and evaluate whether or not these are being covered by the current MOOC supply. The goal is to reveal insights that could help strengthen and enhance the use of MOOCs for web talent across Europe, one of the objectives of the European project Foster Web Talent by Encouraging the Use of Massive Open Online Courses Focused on Web Skills.


Main findings


Web design tops the list of sought-after web skills, according to our online survey. Our research investigates whether or not the demand for web skills is being met by the current MOOC supply. The results suggest that the bottleneck is not a lack of appropriate MOOCs, but rather the difficulty in finding them.




The present online survey was carried out with the aim of providing insights and data to help strengthen and enhance the use of MOOCs for web talent across Europe. The objective of the survey was to identify the web skills which are most in demand and evaluate whether or not these are being covered by the current MOOC supply.


The survey was launched on February 26th 2014 and was closed on April 13th 2014. This report is based on 2,371 complete responses, coming from students (731), developers (315), entrepreneurs (306), academicians (443), leaders of innovation support programs (103), corporate managers (90), MOOC providers (39) and venture capital investors (11). The survey was offered in 4 different languages: English (1,939 not complete responses), German (406 not complete responses), French (332 not complete responses), and Spanish (193 not complete responses).




The following sections are divided according to the information provided by each of the targeted groups in the survey, namely students, MOOC providers, and developers, entrepreneurs and innovation leaders. The survey was designed in such a way so that each target group would respond to different questions.


Students were asked questions as experts in taking MOOCs, MOOC providers were asked another set of questions regarding the MOOCs they provided and the model of their institutions regarding MOOCs, and finally, the group formed by developers, entrepreneurs and innovation leaders were asked yet another set of questions regarding the training potential of MOOCs for the specific (web skills) they think their potential employees and aspiring entrepreneurs are missing.


Most of the respondents were between 23 and 42 years old (56%), were male (61.5%), and held a graduate (49%) or post-graduate degree (33%). The survey was widely disseminated to the 5 continents, and as a consequence, there were 121 different countries represented. The top countries of residence of the respondents were Germany (339 respondents), France (231), followed by Spain (174) and Italy (103).


The survey also revealed that MOOCs are very a quite well know phenomenon since most of the students (63%), developers (70%), and entrepreneurs (67%) had some previous knowledge about them or had even taken one (61% of the students, 67% of the developers, and 61% of the entrepreneurs).





The results of this survey confirm that MOOCs are well-known and valued learning practices. The survey also unveiled that there is a strong interest from employers and recruitment entities in exploring and acknowledging the training possibilities of MOOCs and other informal learning practices.


Contrary to what we expected, programming and web development skills were not the only skill se in high demand. Entrepreneurs, leaders of innovation support programs and developers are also concerned about the lack of other skills such as domain specific and adjacent web skills within their sector.


Overall, students would be interested in obtaining some more information on where to find MOOCs that are related to the aforementioned web skills. The current provision of MOOCs seems to be sufficient, but the students do not necessarily know where they can easily find the MOOCs they are looking for.


MOOC providers also value highly the benefits of MOOCs for their institutions and for their research, although they struggle with the amount of resources required to develop MOOCs within the current (higher education) educational system. The fact that cost, institutional culture and quality assurance are among the greatest barriers potential providers face in developing and delivering new MOOCs implies that these concerns need to be addressed if we want to support the growth of European web entrepreneurship through this promising new educational instrument.


The concern of the students and interest on the recruiter’s side about recognition of MOOCs as valuable albeit informal learning practices should not be taken lightly, and current policies should seek to implement measures that grant that these are in fact put in place in the near future.


The entire report will be made available for download Thursday, May 22nd. 

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Join the VM-Pass Living Lab - First online recruitment seminar

12 March 2014

This webinar explores the concept of open learning recognition as one of the means of certifying open learning, and allowing for the portability of those certifications between different types of educational institutions.


Anthony F. Camilleri (EFQUEL), Anne Christine Tannhauser (EFQUEL), Doc. dr. Airina Volungevičienė (Vytautas Magnus University) and Dénes Zarka (EDEN)


The concept of open learning recognition describes the act of certifying open learning, and allowing for the portability of those certifications between different types of educational institutions.The seminar serves as an opportunity for interested institutions to receive information on:

  • open learning recognition as a concept;
  • latest developments in recognition in HEIs;
  • the Recognition Clearinghouse and the learning passport.


The event will give participants the chance to clarify any questions they have as to conditions for joining.


Link to the event: http://seminars.eden-online.org

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"OER" Resources for learning - Experiences from an OER Project in Sweden

15 March 2013

This article was originally published on the European Journal for Open, Distance and E-Learning.

This article aims to share experience from a Swedish project on the introduction and implementation of Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education with both national and international perspectives. The project, OER – resources for learning, was part of the National Library of Sweden Open Access initiative and aimed at exploring, raising awareness of and disseminating the use of OER and the resulting pedagogical advantages for teaching and learning. Central to the project’s activities were a series of regional seminars which all featured a combination of multi-site meetings combined with online participation. This combination proved highly successful and extended the reach of the project. In total the project reached around 1000 participants at its events and many more have seen the recorded sessions.


Several unresolved issues beyond the scope of the project became explicit but which are absolutely crucial challenges. Firstly, the evolution from OER towards open educational practices (OEP) and open educational cultures (OEC). OEP and OEC imply the establishment of national and international policies and strategies where the use of OER is officially encouraged, sanctioned and developed. Secondly it became explicit that the issue of metadata is crucial for finding OER and facilitating their use and reuse for teachers and learners. Thirdly, the sustainability of OER must be stimulated by ensuring the creation of material that can easily be adapted and reused by teachers in other countries and contexts.

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Open educational practices recognised through the OPAL Awards

15 December 2011

The Awards ceremony began with a presentation of the results of the OPAL Initiative by Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, President of EFQUEL (left). He also demonstrated the newly published OPAL metromap, an interactive tool allowing policy makers, institutional leaders, teaching professionals and learners the opportunity to plot their trajectory on the road to open educational practices.

The OPAL Awards for quality and innovation through open educational practices recognise outstanding achievements in the fields of open educational resources policy and promotion and use of OER. Open educational resources are learning materials which are made freely available for others to adapt and use.


The Awards were launched to provide exposure and recognition for successful open educational practices, a new concept of best practices in the use and production of freely available resources.


The OPAL Awards are conceived as part of the Open Educational Quality (OPAL) Initiative www.oerquality.org, supported by the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme. The OPAL Initiative consists of partners including UNESCO, the International Council for Open and Distance Education, the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning and a number of leading European universities.


The OPAL Initiative has published guidelines for open educational practices, has developed databases of best practices at individual and educational institution levels, and has worked to influence policy in colleges and universities, and at the national and regional level. The OPAL Awards are the culmination of this project, to showcase achievements in policy, institutions, and learning contexts, and to demonstrate that these lead to improvement of quality and innovation.


The Awards attracted entries from around the world, and an international jury of at least 3 prominent experts was formed for each of the 3 awards.


The Award for Bodies which Influence Policy

The Award for Bodies which Influence Policy is given to a global, regional or national organization providing the conditions or resources for open educational practices, or encouraging excellence in open educational practices.


The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (IKSME), USA www.iskme.org was selected as winner. In its statement, the jury concluded that ISKME has proven its effectiveness in providing teachers with the tools and skills to challenge policy in their institutions and home countries from the bottom-up. The Institute has both inspired and disseminated policies to other parts of the world, having worked with teachers from 25 countries, uses a Wiki to provide continual support to its stakeholders, and demonstrates strong partnerships – including with Africa.


The jury for this Award consisted of Anthony Camilleri of the European Foundation for Quality in e- Learning (Chair), Minh Do, VOER Program Director at The Vietnam Foundation, and Dr. Bianca Maria Santana de Brito of The University of São Paulo, Brazil.


The Award for Institutions

The Award for Institutions recognizes institutions with a policy of encouraging open educational practices through the provision of resources and support for the development of OER, participation in research and development, and a clear strategy for motivating its staff.


University of California, Irvine www.uci.edu was selected as winner. It is a mature initiative that also shows evidence of strong impact in a developing country, namely Brazil. The jury noted that the project has shown successful self-development by making open educational resources a fundamental feature of the university, and that it shows evidence of strong leadership both within the institution and externally.


Acharya Narendra Dev College, University of Delhi, India http://andcollege.du.ac.in was awarded

highly commended status in this category for demonstrating strong motivation to change traditional patterns of teaching and a robust process for encouraging the creation of OER based on a selffunding

model. The jury gave special mention to the College’s work with the University of Mumbai to spread use and reuse externally, and its work to overcome faculty resistance to change.


The jury for this award was Professor Narend Baijnath, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of South Africa, Professor Roberto Carneiro of The Catholic University of Portugal, Dr Emma Kruse Va'ai, Deputy Vice Chancellor of The National University of Samoa and Professor Rory McGreal, Associate Vice President at Athabasca University, Canada (Chair).


Ingeborg Boe, Member of the Executive Board of the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning and of the Board of Trustees of the International Council for Open and Distance Education, presented this award at the ceremony. Larry Cooperman, Director, OpenCourseWare at The University of California, Irvine, USA collected the winner award, while Dr. Savithri Singh, Principal, Acharya Narendra Dev College, University of Delhi, India, was represented by Dr. Hemlata Chari of the University of Mumbai.


The Award for Learning contexts

The Award for Learning Contexts is awarded to learning professionals who produce OER, who actively share their work, and who motivate and inspire their colleagues. Submissions were required to provide learner statements as testament to the successful incorporation of student feedback, and communication to students of the value of openness.


The winning project was Open Science Resources www.openscienceresources.eu, a Europe-wide initiative submitted by Ellinogermaniki Agogi - Research and Development Department, Greece. The jury praised the project for demonstrating evidence of a truly significant contribution to teaching and learning in science as well as a solid hold of the principles surrounding OER. “The originality and clarity of the project are impressive and it has potential to be applied internationally. It makes available a range of resources from European Museums and Science Centres and encourages educators and others to contribute new resources, making use of an impressive tool to create learning pathways.”


The LORO Project http://loro.open.ac.uk developed by the Department of Languages at the Open University UK was awarded highly commended status by the international jury. The jury noted that although the initiative is currently internally focused, it has the potential to be a showcase for other institutions. “It is anchored in a clear vision and strategy and aims fundamentally to change the practice of both academics and student teachers to include processes of sharing, showcasing, adapting and re-using resources.”


The jury for the learning contexts award was composed of Jenny Glennie, Executive Director at the South African Institute for Distance Education, Dr. Carl Holmberg, Former Secretary General of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (Chair), and Professor Fred Litto, President of the Brazilian Association for Distance Education (ABED).


The awards were presented by Dr. Luciano Sathler, Vice-President of ABED, representing Professor Litho, and were collected by Eleftheria Tsourlidaki from Ellinogermaniki Agogi - Research and Development Department, Greece and Anna Comas-Quinn of the Department of Languages at the Open University UK.


Further information, photographs and videos of the winning entries: www.oer-quality.org

Contact: Nick Moe-Pryce, Information Office, International Council for Open and Distance Education,

pryce@icde.org, +47 22 06 26 32

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