MOOCs for professional development of school teachers

Topic Description

MOOCs could be suitable for continuing professional development of school teachers – particularly, when novel ways are now required to embed ICT across the curriculum. However, a global study by The Open University’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Research Hub has found that more awareness is required amongst the teachers on how OERs (of which MOOCs are a subset) are a way to share their teaching experiences with one another, and also how to make use of OERs and MOOCs for training and professional development. Further, little is known about what constitutes effective MOOC design within professional development contexts of teachers and how MOOCs should be delivered by integrating social media to support knowledge exchange, sharing of resources, cross-disciplinary interactions, and resource building. This project will investigate how MOOCs should be designed for continuing professional development of teachers: for example, using the design principles of effective professional development and online learning, designing to foster self-directed learning, peer-supported learning, case-study and project-based approaches, and to support integration into blended (hybrid) learning contexts (e.g., teachers within a school completing the course together could meet in person to discuss material or complete tasks).

Skills Required:

Masters with focus on online learning, open learning, open educational resources, or in technology-enabled learning and with emphasis on user-centred design and pedagogical principles. Background in teachers training or CPD of teachers will be an advantage.

Background Reading:

de los Arcos, B., Farrow, R., Perryman, L.-A., Pitt, R. and Weller, M. (2014). OER Evidence Report 2013-2014. OER Research Hub,

Vivian, R., Falkner, K. and Falkner, N. (2014) Addressing the challenges of a new digital technologies curriculum: MOOCs as a scalable solution for teacher professional development. Research in Learning Technology, vol. 22. 22. Available at:

Lokey-Vega, A. (2014) Grab a MOOC by the Horns', Educational Leadership, vol. 71, no. 8, pp. 61-64.

Hollylynne L. and Dalene S. (2015) Taking a Chance in the Classroom: Professional Development MOOCs for Teachers of Statistics in K-12, CHANCE, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 56-63.

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