MOOCs as Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education

  • Kamarudin Hussin Universiti Malaysia Perlis


The advancement of technology in higher education is always perceived as a valuable innovation that create better impact to the society. The advent of the Internet for instance, has magnificently created important features in learning environment globally. Higher education community optimizes the Internet as an essential resource, communication platforms and dynamic tools in their core teaching-learning, research, consultation activities, entertainment and many others. Moreover, innovations such as mobile technology has successfully broadened access to the Internet and related online services and facilities. Higher education institutions as the hub for technology development and innovation have invested in virtual learning environment to support current needs of global population. Related to this fact, e- learning modules and contents are offered across universities, and interested learners in

public communities are benefited by this opportunity. Educators and experts in higher education institutions are delivering their knowledge, discoveries and expertise via e-learning platforms and other supported technology. Equally important, e-learning has successfully expanded opportunities for lifelong and flexible learning, and offered a solution for practical issues and increasing student numbers. As a matter of fact, e-learning has been proposed as a promising way out for many complex issues such asfunding constraints, increasing demand and access to higher education while improving quality and high impact educational provisions in many countries. While addressing these issues, higher education administrators, educators, researchers and policy makers have developed responses in various frameworks. Initiatives such as Competency-Based Online Programs, development of open source materials, flipped classroom and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have contributed towards reducing cost of higher education as well as increasing access to higher education. MOOCs technology has proven its capability to reach massive audienceof about 30,000 students at a time. Across the globe, MOOCs offer free access to online course lectures, self- paced lessons, readings, problem sets, blogs, discussion boards, peer assessment and even online discussion group platforms for global students (Leon and Price, 2016). In 2017, MOOCs offered more than 9,400 courses with more than 500 MOOC based credentials according to data gathered by Class Central. Excitingly, MOOC platforms have recorded more than 81 million learners to date (Class Central, 2017).