Student - September 19, 2019

MOOC on beer could win title

Luuk Zegers

Two of WUR’s massive open online courses have been nominated for the title ‘MOOC of the year’ at edX, the second biggest MOOC platform in the world.

The MOOCs in question are The Science of Beer, developed by honours students, and Sustainable Tourism: Rethinking the Future, developed by lecturer in cultural geography Arjaan Pellis. A total of 10 MOOCs have a chance of winning the title. The winner will be announced in Hong Kong in November.

Nico van der Veen is one of the four honours students behind the beer MOOC. ‘I was on holiday with my year club when I got an email with the news. It was quite a surprise. I think one of the main reasons for the nomination is that our MOOC really was entirely created by students. As far as I know, WUR is the only university that is experimenting with that. As well as that, there is a nice assignment in our MOOC every week, for example to think up a marketing campaign for beer, to brew beer yourself, or to print and play a board game.’

There’s a nice assignment in our MOOC every week, like brewing beer yourself

Wageningen is not the only university with two nominations; Massachusetts Institute of Technology has two contenders as well. There are also MOOCS from universities in Bombay, Dartmouth and Hong Kong in the top ten.

WUR’s marketing coordinator for online education Wendy Jansen is very pleased with the double nomination. ‘EdX has over 2600 MOOCs and over 22 million participants. For two of our MOOCs to be in the top ten this year is very exceptional.’

An edX panel will give all the nominated MOOCs scores, looking at how innovative the MOOC is, how clear the communication with students is, what students think of it and how many of them actually complete the course.