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MOOCs. What are they? The Pros. The Cons.

What Are They?

Mass open online course or a MOOC has been around since 2008. Its overall goal has been to bring education to anyone who wishes to learn. MOOC providers such as Coursera, edX and Udacity continue to be popular for online learners and understandably so. The growth of the e-learning market is predicted to significantly boost the MOOC one of the most established e-learning branches.

MOOCs The Pros and The Cons


1. Courses are free

This presents excellent value for cost effective learning, as the course is free, and participants can complete the MOOC from the comfort of their own home so there are no travel or educational expenses.

2. Easy access to leading experts

The leader of the MOOC will often be available if the participants have an queries or questions therefore experts are always on hand.

3. Anyone can complete a MOOC

No matter your age you can complete a MOOC. It’s never too late to start. The majority of MOOC students, however, are between the ages of 16-21 as they complete the course during their summer holidays.

4. Participants can easily track their performance

MOOCs are designed so that students have the right software to track their progress and performance throughout the completion of their course.

5. Good for blended learning combined with on-the-job or classroom learning

MOOCs can easily fit into your current lifestyle as students can continue working, learning in the classroom or having training on-the-job. it’s an easy way to gain some extra information in an independent study format.

6. People can study in their own time according to their learning pace

Some people don’t like the pressure of everybody else learning around them. But MOOCs allow learns to study in their own time according to their own learning pace and there’s no expiry date on when the course should be completed meaning they can take as long as they need.


1. High dropout rate

Studies suggest that as many as 90% of students drop out of a MOOC due to the course not matching their expectations or being too busy with other commitments (Source: National Association of Scholars)

2. Cannot be personalised

MOOCs are less personalised to the individual’s learning needs than other learning courses. Plus, MOOCs cant be personalised in the same way a dedicated learning management system (LMS) can

3. Accessibility barriers

MOOCs are not designed with the needs of disabled users in mind and participants need access to a good internet connection, creating barriers to learning. But creators of MOOCs can work on this.

4. Language barriers

If someone isn’t fluent in the language the MOOC has been written in this will be an issue for the learner. However, creators of MOOCs can overcome this by writing their courses in a wide range of languages to suit a wider audience globally.

5. MOOC learning doesn’t always count as a professional qualification

If you complete a MOOC that isn’t in your work industry it won’t 100% of the time count towards a professional qualification because of how the course is completed and the company where the MOOC was delivered.

6. Impersonal learning

Face-to-face traditional learning is more personal as the facilitator meets the participants, therefore if nobody is there to answer questions it deters some students from learning to their best abil

Our Thoughts

MOOCs are predicted to continue to grow and whilst at T21 Group we think wide availability of information is great, we also believe tailored e-learning platforms provide more accessible, cost-effective and personalised learning experiences for users and business needs.

MOOCs are a fantastic source of free learning, but to generate the most beneficial outcomes for the business and learners in the long term, learning management systems are the perfect solution.

Currently, we're offering a free e-learning audit for your company.

To find out more and book yours, please email

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