Next Generation MOOCs: Perspectives From the Learning Sciences

Archive Notice: The following article was published before Jan 2015.

April 6, 2014 – Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have taken higher education by surprise, with some courses attracting more than 100,000 registered students. Whether researching MOOCs users, focusing on the potential for MOOCs in the developing world, or hosting a lecture series, Penn GSE faculty and students are examining this emerging trend.

Now that the first wave of MOOC courses has been offered and analyzed, what will the next generation of MOOCs look like?

GSE’s Learning Sciences program, where scholars study the relationship between education and technology, is turning to pioneers in online learning for answers, offering Penn students and researchers a rare glimpse at the bleeding-edge of this phenomenon through their Next Generation MOOCs series.

“This series brings four speakers to Penn who aim to highlight learning goals in addition to design and access of knowledge from a variety of important educational perspectives,” said co-organizer Dr. Susan Yoon.

On April 14, Eric Klopfer of MIT will speak about “Design and Development of Project and Case Based MOOCs in Educational Technology and Games.” Klopfer has been experimenting with a series of MOOCs modules (5-6 weeks) on the design of educational technology, games, and—the ultimate goal—educational games. On April 25, Candace Thille from Stanford University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Online Learning will share insights from The Open Learning Initiative (OLI), which has been creating and evaluating open web-based learning environments for over 10 years.

Next Generation MOOCs is organized by Dr. Yasmin Kafai and Dr. Susan Yoon of Penn GSE's Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division with support from the University of Pennsylvania Office of the Provost, the Penn Graduate School of Education, and C4 Learning Sciences. More information about the series can be found at