Massive Open Online Courses


Internationally, a number of emerging technologies and associated developments are becoming available that could have far‐reaching effects on the delivery of tertiary education. One of these developments is Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

The opportunities MOOCs present include the ability for institutions to extend their brand and reach to large international audiences, experiment with innovative pedagogical approaches, an ability to offer niche provision at scale, and a potential reduction of costs. Its challenges and risks include that they are not widely recognised as formal qualifications, the absence of an established business model, and their pedagogical approaches.

We have developed this paper as the start of a conversation between and among government agencies, institutions, employers and learners on the appropriate policy settings and ways to support the introduction of these emerging technologies in the delivery of tertiary education.

This paper also supports the 2014 Innovations in Tertiary Education Summit, held in Auckland on 5 and 6 June 2014, which looks at the future of tertiary education and the role of technology in it.

Further information on the Summit is available on the Education Counts website.

Technological Developments and Tertiary Education Delivery Models: The arrival of MOOCs Massive Open Online Courses is available on the Education Counts website.

Note: We no longer have hard copies of the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy available, and will not resume hard copy printing of these resources.

The Learning Progressions resources are available to download here. The Reading Collection resources to support adult literacy learning are also available online here.

  • Last changed: 2 July 2015
  • Last verified: 2 July 2015