The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight to the term Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), the practices, trends and challenges for the higher education institutions. MOOCs, although having a short history, literally took off in 2012 when MIT and Harvard created “edX”, former Stanford professors created “Coursera”, a private company created “Udacity” and UK’s Open University created “Future Learn”. Nowadays, the majority of academic institutions in US and Europe are offering MOOCs to their students, providing a wide variety of online courses in difference subjects with the option, if wanted, to obtain a course certificate.
The arrival of MOOCs has greatly affected higher education worldwide, since learners have greater access and more options for their education, they are forcing higher education institutions to reevaluate their educational approaches and to comply with the current educational trends. There are many reasons why students decide to participate in a MOOC. Naming a few, to obtain a degree, to get a new job, to get promotion, to get a post retirement job, to be admitted in a college, to use it as corporate training. For this reason, both state and private universities begin to reexamine their educational strategy and methods, in a local and international level. The question that arises regards whether MOOCs can be considered to be the future in education, or it will be proved that this increasing interest is nothing more than a bubble what will bust in the foreseeable future.
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