Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been a very promising innovation in higher education for the last few months. Many institutions are currently asking their staff to run high quality MOOCs in a race to gain visibility in an education market that is increasingly abundant in choice.
Nevertheless, designing and running a MOOC from scratch is not an easy task and requires a high workload. This workload should be shared among those generating contents, those fostering discussion in the community around the MOOC, those supporting the recording and subtitling of audiovisual materials, and those advertising the MOOC, among others. Sometimes the teaching staff has to assume all these tasks (and consequently the associated workload) due to the lack of adequate resources in the institution. This is just one example of the many problems that teachers need to be aware of before riding the MOOC wave.
This paper offers a set of recommendations that are expected to be useful for inexperienced teachers that now face the challenge of designing and running a MOOC. Most of these recommendations come from the lessons learned after teaching a nine-week MOOC on educational technologies, called “Digital Education of the Future”, at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, Spain.