Authors: Martin Ebner, Walther Nagler
The Austrian MOOC Platform
What are MOOCs?
The abbreviation MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course, i.e. a free, possibly openly licensed online course for many participants. Scientifically, Dunbar‘s number (150) is used to assess whether a course can be described as ”massive“. 150 is the threshold at which a single person is considered to be able to maintain social relationships with others.
2012 was declared as the ”Year of the MOOC“ after more and more educators, starting in the USA, had begun to offer MOOCs and platforms such as Udacity, Coursera and edX were founded.
Originally, the general idea of MOOCs was to offer online courses free of charge for many learners and to learn together on the internet. The first courses were still strongly shaped by the shared online discourse. Soon, more and more educators, including Sebastian Thrun1 (co-founder of Udacity), discovered the possibility of conveying knowledge through online courses. When more than 100,000 people then registered for these courses, MOOCs were finally recognized as the ”new“ dimension in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL).
A brief history of iMooX.at
iMooX.at is a MOOC platform, similar to its US counterparts, with the aim of offering MOOCs on various topics at university level. The platform was created at Graz University of Technology in 2013 in a project of the future fund Styria (in German “Zukunftsfonds Steiermark”) together with the University of Graz and has been maintained at TU Graz since then. The priority in the first stage was to make educational content accessible to society, which led to the direct demand for openly licensed resources (OER). Open licenses are still mandatory for every MOOC on iMooX.at today.
Here are a few more milestones:
Foundation of the platform iMooX.at by the University of Graz and the Graz University of Technology
iMooX is under the patronage of the UNESCO because it goes hand in hand with their educational goals
”Our decision to grant patronage to your project is– Austrian Commission for UNESCO, October 9, 2014.
based on the implementation of the UNESCO priorities in the area of education. Not only is your project an important contribution for open access to information, but it also promotes information and communication technology in the area of education.“
First university course accompanied by a MOOC at Graz University of Technology
The MOOC ”Free Online Learning“ is awarded the Austrian State Prize for Adult Education
First major system change and redesign
The so far largest MOOC on the platform on the subject of the GDPR starts with more than 10,000 participants
In addition to the MINT MOOCs, FIT courses in mathematics and computer science start at TU Graz
The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research approved a project aiming to make iMooX a service for all Austrian universities
Second major system change and redesign
Facts & Figures about iMooX.at (as of January 2021)
Over the years, numerous courses have been created and many learners have furthered their education on iMooX.at
Here are a few figures:
- more than 100 MOOCs have been held
- more than 58,000 learners have taken advantage of our offers
- and more than 70 partners have collaborated with us
Information on our platformIn
In contrast to other platforms, iMooX requires all courses to offer openly licensed content. This means that they can be used without any copyright issues. Additionally, iMooX.at is also GDPR compliant and offers the possibility to authenticate via ”eduID“. This means that learners from Austrian universities do not have to register, but can use the authentication data of their university as login. All educational videos are also published on YouTube and some are subtitled in order to provide better accessibility.
Following the relaunch in January 2021, iMooX.at is designed for learning with mobile devices under the catch phrase ”mobile first“. Equally new are landing pages for individual eductional partners with a list of online courses offered by the respective institution.
How can you use iMooX.at in your teaching?
At TU Graz, iMooX.at is available for teaching in two ways:
- You can use all content of a MOOC for your own teaching without any concerns regarding copyright, no matter if you need a whole course or maybe only parts of it. All you have to do is indicate the appropriate free license, which you can find in the respective course description.
- You can offer university-level MOOCs on the platform yourself. If you are interested in doing so, simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expand your learning with MOOChub: iMooX.at is part of the international MOOChub.org2 network. There, in addition to the courses on iMooX.at, you will find more free online courses by other partner platforms.
Khalil, Mohammad & Ebner, Martin (2016).
When Learning Analytics Meets MOOCs – a Review on iMooX Case Studies. 648. 3-19. 10.1007/978-3-319-49466-1_1, in: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/310049259_When_
Ebner, Martin, Braun, Clarissa & Schön, Sandra (2019).
Mehr als nur ein MOOC – Sieben Lehr- und Lernszenarien zur Nutzung von MOOCs in der Hochschullehre und anderen Bildungsbereichen. In: Jörg Hafer, Martina Mauch & Marlen Schumann (Hrsg.), Teilhabe in der digitalen Bildungswelt, GMW Proceedings 2019, Medien in der Wissenschaft, Band 75, Münster: Waxmann, S. 138-149 and in: https://elearningblog.tugraz.at/archives/11381