Can iMOOCs close the Opportunity Gaps?: the contribution of social inclusive pedagogical design


  • Antonio Moreira Teixeira Universidade Aberta de Lisboa, Portugal. ORCID:
  • Jose Mota Universidade Aberta, LE@D, Portugal. ORCID:
  • Maria do Carmo Teixeira Pinto Universidade Aberta, LE@D, Portugal. ORCID:
  • Lina Morgado Universidade Aberta, Lisboa, Portugal. ORCID:


Palabras clave:

distance education, open learning systems, online learning, equal opportunity in education, education for all.


Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are open courses made available online at no cost to the user and designed to scale up, allowing for a large number of participants. As such, they are a disruptive new development which has the potential to widen access to higher education since they contribute to social inclusion, the dissemination of knowledge and pedagogical innovation. However, assuring quality learning opportunities to all cannot be simply reduced to allowing free access to higher education. On the contrary, it implies assuring equitable opportunities for every participant to succeed in their learning experience. This goal depends on the quality of the learning design. To be successful, a massive open online learning experience has to empower learners and to facilitate a networked learning environment. In fact, MOOCs are designed to serve a high heterogeneity of profiles, with many differences regarding learning needs and preferences, prior knowledge, contexts of participation and diversity of online platforms. Personalization can play a key role in this process. In this article, the authors describe the iMOOC pedagogical model and its later derivative, the sMOOC model, and explain how they contributed to the introduction of the principles of diversity and equity to MOOC design, allowing for a clear differentiation of learning paths and also of virtual environments, while empowering participants to succeed in their learning experiences. Using a design-based research approach, a comparative analysis of two course iterations each representing each model is also presented and discussed.


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Cómo citar

Moreira Teixeira, A., Mota, J., Teixeira Pinto, M. do C., & Morgado, L. (2019). Can iMOOCs close the Opportunity Gaps?: the contribution of social inclusive pedagogical design. Revista Fuentes, 21(2), 239–252.
Recibido 2019-11-22
Aceptado 2019-12-02
Publicado 2019-12-26