Teacher Development in MOOCs- a Case Study

Mohammad Khalil

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) appear particularly relevant in education for sustainability. Teachers need to critically reflect on their teaching to develop as teachers and improve student learning, but the MOOC related literature has paid little attention to teacher development. A published paper by Stöhr et al. (2017) applied and evaluate a framework for teacher development – Brookfield's critically reflective practitioner – in a MOOC context. The authors presented a case study of two teachers who developed and delivered the Sustainability in Everyday Life MOOC. They analyzed four reflective lenses:

The autobiographical lens:

The foundation where teachers focus on their prior experiences as learners. By examining their autobiographies, teachers are taking on the role of the student, enabling them to better see their practice from their students’ perspective.

The student lens:

Self-reflection is the basis of reflective practice.

The peer lens:

The peer lens stresses the importance of feedback from colleagues. Colleagues usually have similar experiences as the teacher on a broader level.

The scholarship lens:

Brookfield’s final lens is the scholarship lens, or engaging with the literature on higher education. Reading educational literature or conducting educational research can provide various perspectives on the teaching situation.

While all four lenses contributed to the reflection process, they were insufficient in a MOOC context. However, the authors identified 3 additional perspectives that should be considered in MOOC teaching practices:

  1. The Learning Analytics lens
  2. The Leadership lens
  3. The Media and public lens.

The authors found that those additional lenses are probably more relevant in a MOOC context than in campus teaching, since teaching in a MOOC takes place in a more exposed and complex environment than most campus teaching.

To find out more, please read the full article:

Teacher development in Massive Open Online Courses Evaluating reflective practice in a sustainability MOOC


Stöhr, C., Claesson, A. N., Janssen, M., & Adawi, T. (2017). Teacher development in Massive Open Online Courses. In Proceedings of the 45th SEFI Conference, Azores, Portugal.