Organisation - September 12, 2019

Two WUR MOOCs in the running to become “MOOC of the year”

Luuk Zegers

Two WUR massive open online courses (MOOCs) have been nominated for the title “MOOC of the year” at edX, one of the world’s largest MOOC platforms.

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The MOOCs in question are “The Science of Beer”, developed by honours’ students, and “Sustainable Tourism: Rethinking the Future”, developed by Cultural Geography lecturer Arjaan Pellis. A total of ten MOOCs is competing for the edX Prize for Exceptional Contributions in Online Teaching and Learning. The winner will be announced in Hong Kong in November.

I think that the nomination is largely due to the fact that our MOOC was made entirely by students.
Nico van der Veen, student and co-developer of the Beer MOOC

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 received the email with the news and invitation to come to the conference in Hong Kong. That was quite a surprise, indeed. I think that the nomination is largely due to the fact that our MOOC was made entirely by students. As far as I know, WUR is the only university that is experimenting with that approach. In addition, our MOOC contains fun weekly assignments, like coming up with a marketing campaign for beer, the assignment to brew your own beer or a board game that participants can print and play.’

Wageningen is not the only university that has been nominated twice: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also has two candidates. In addition, MOOCs from universities in Mumbai, Dartmouth and Hong Kong are among the finalists.

‘Truly unique’
WUR’s marketing coordinator for online education Wendy Jansen is very happy with the double nomination. ‘With more than 2600 MOOCs and over 22 million participants, edX is the second largest MOOC platform in the world. It is truly unique that two of our MOOCs are among the top ten this year.’

An edX panel scores all nominated MOOCs. This includes assessing the innovativeness of a MOOC, the clarity of communication with students, how active the MOOC participants are, how they experience the MOOC, and how many of them actually complete the MOOC.

View all nominated MOOCs here.

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