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Not All MOOCs Are Created Equal: A Comparative Evaluation of Popular MOOC Platforms

Two years ago, Time magazine declared 2012 as "the year of the MOOC." Since then, many Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) have emerged promising to provide free or low-cost education to the masses through custom learning management platforms. Such abundance makes it difficult for educators who are considering entering into the realm of MOOCs to decide which provider or platform is best suited to the needs of their students. While each provider boasts grand claims, it is simply the case that not all MOOCs are created equal. Our presentation will critically examine several of the most prominent MOOC platforms to showcase principal features and weigh the positive and negative attributes of each. We will explore how the different MOOCs make use of course building software and learning analytics to allow instructors to engage with learners in a novel or unique way. Additionally, we will highlight the targeted learning style of each platform to help give potential instructors a sense of which MOOC is optimal for their course material and pedagogical style.


Lee Wilson
Lee Wilson is a graduate student at the School of Information Management in the Masters of Library and Information Studies program. He is currently working as a research assistant at the Social Media Lab on a research project entitles "Learning Analytics for the Social Media Age" funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Anatoliy Gruzd
Anatoliy Gruzd is an Associate Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management and Director of the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University, Canada. He is also a co-editor of a new multidisciplinary journal on Big Data and Society published by Sage. Dr. Gruzd’s research initiatives explore how the advent of social media is changing the ways in which people communicate, collaborate and disseminate information and how these changes impact the social, economic and political norms and structures of modern society.