This article discusses a prototype quality model developed for courses in the first edition of the UNED MOOC initiative (where over 170,000 students undertook 20 MOOCs between October 2012 and May 2013).
It is argued that since it is not easy to differentiate between a MOOC and other types of online courses, it is therefore difficult to specify a quality model for the former.
At the time of starting this project there were no other quality models that could be applied directly. Hence, a practical two-part solution was assumed. Firstly, it considers the overall structure and function of each course in terms of a variable set of characteristics that can be used to evaluate the initial design of the course.
Secondly, it uses a flexible student certification model, argued to demonstrate that a course has achieved its objectives given the results intended by the teaching team.