In its memorandum “MOOCs and online HE” NVAO has further explored the potential of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), of online education in general, and of blended learning.
This memorandum explores scenarios in which a higher education institution in the Netherlands or Flanders:
- is seeking the best way to handle the acknowledgement of online courses (MOOCs or otherwise) that students have taken elsewhere;
- sets quality requirements for online courses provided by another institution to be included in its own bachelor’s or master’s programmes;
- sets quality requirements for online and blended learning programmes that they have developed themselves.
MOOCs are not directly subject to NVAO accreditation, and it is deemed unlikely that MOOCs will be subject to accreditation in the Netherlands or Flanders in the foreseeable future. NVAO does believe that in time a shared view on what constitutes a „good‟ MOOC can be developed, and would welcome the opportunity to take part in documenting and disseminating such good practices.
The crucial role of testing and examination is emphasised in NVAO’s position. MOOC certificates that meet the highest standards are needed as well as showing how higher education providers can contribute to achieving this objective. In the European context it is important to monitor the relevant legislation, incorporating the implications for what is possible and permissible in the area of online higher education.