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Peer-Review Record

An Analysis of the Profiles and the Opinion of Students Enrolled on xMOOCs at the University of Málaga

Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 6910; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11246910
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Reviewer 4: Anonymous
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 6910; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11246910
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 22 November 2019 / Accepted: 30 November 2019 / Published: 4 December 2019

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

This paper is based in a research process that aims to know more about the MOOCs promoted by a Spanish university. I’m very sceptical towards this proposal as I’ll try to show in the following points:

- The authors argue that the MOOCs phenomenon have an undeniable importance and thus try to contribute to the knowledge advancement on this issue. However, there is a not a theoretical framework to support their study, apart from factual comments coming from the literature on the MOOCs themselves / previous research on MOOCs. For example, there is an impressive number of MOOCs nowadays and an impressive number of learners who enrol in MOOCs; or comments on the quality, accessibility, or affordability of the courses mediated by this technology.

- However, it would be interesting to understand what are MOOCs really bringing to the field of pedagogy, or adult education, for example (most participants in this sample are, in fact, adults). Is this just a technology that facilitates learning at distance? Is this challenging, in any ways, the traditional face-to-face learning? MOOCs are more adequate to some types of learners, while there are reasons to believe that not all adults benefit from this type of courses? These are just examples of a more profound questioning that would eventually make the field progress a step forward. The authors had the opportunity to imagine a creative/ important study that would contribute more to understand the “MOOCs phenomenon”. But on the contrary, they used their university MOOCs to conduct a basic study, that aims to characterise the students who are participating in MOOCs.

- The result of the authors’ options is a paper that is, of course, internally coherent, but also very limited and with a limited interest to an international readership. While I recognise that the University they belong to might be very interested in this type of study, it is arguable that international readers feel the same way. The central perspective of the instruments used in this research is a traditional perspective of “client satisfaction” towards these courses.

- The results section is not appropriately displayed. As readers we are confronted with a considerably large succession of tables. When writing a paper, we should give the reader the freedom not to look closely to the tables – the text itself should give us an interpretation and we analyse the table if we want more details. In the end of this section there is the feeling that a certain description of the data was made, but not a real interpretation. This seems also a consequence of the type of instruments used in the research – superficial.

- The discussion and conclusion of the paper are necessarily poor. There is not a real discussion of the findings. More, some statements made in the discussion are arguable. For example: “MOOCs are promoting democratisation and the opening up of knowledge worldwide”. What is the basis of this statement? There are speculations for the fact that drop-out rates are very high – but these are just speculations other type of speculations could be equally given.

To conclude, the proposal has a very reduced soundness and a limited interest to an international readership, in my opinion.

Author Response

Response to Reviewer 1 Comments

Point 1: The authors argue that the MOOCs phenomenon have an undeniable importance and thus try to contribute to the knowledge advancement on this issue. However, there is a not a theoretical framework to support their study.

 

Response 1: We have attended the suggestion and included arguments about those that contribute to the field of pedagogy and adult education. In the same way, we have reflected on the role that technology plays in this change.

 

Point 2: - The results section is not appropriately displayed. As readers we are confronted with a considerably large succession of tables. When writing a paper, we should give the reader the freedom not to look closely to the tables – the text itself should give us an interpretation and we analyse the table if we want more details.

 

Response 2: We have attended your suggestion and have removed tables to facilitate reading.

 

Point 3: - The discussion and conclusion of the paper are necessarily poor. There is not a real discussion of the findings. More, some statements made in the discussion are arguable. For example: “MOOCs are promoting democratisation and the opening up of knowledge worldwide”. What is the basis of this statement?

 

Response 3: We have improved the discussion and justified some of the statements, as suggested.

 

 

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report

Dear Author(s),

Thank you for the opportunity to read and comment on your study. My overall view of the research is that this would be excellent in 2012, but it's a little lacking in 2019 in terms of originality. While it is interesting to get some research findings from a MOOC provider that isn't Coursera or EdX, I am left with wanting more.

Some Questions I have from reading your submission:

According to the questionnaire, you didn’t ask a question specific to the learner’s native language (lines 139-144) but in your findings you indicate that students were there to study in their native language (Line 255). Is this jumping to a conclusion? It’s not really borne out of the data you collected. Nationality or country of origin doesn’t necessarily connect with the native language of the learner. This also leads me to my subsequent question here: What was the motivation of students to sign up for these specific MOOCs? It might have been to study a topic in their native language, but it might have been to practice language.  Anecdotally, I’ve taken some Miriada X MOOCs over the years to improve my Spanish by learning about something in Spanish (two birds one stone) and I live in the Americas.  My native language is not Spanish. Most of your students came from Spain (lines 173-475). Any indication as to why this is? Does it have to do with the institution offering these courses (UMA)?  If these courses were advertised, how were these courses advertised (and to whom)? Since most of your learners were from Spain, is there something that you can say about your findings that are of particular importance to Spain given the local realities/expectations/norms? For the 45% that had done a MOOC before (lines 182-183) where had they completed MOOCs and in what language was the MOOC offered in?

Some general procedural questions and comments:

Much of what you describe (lines 42-54) describe the xMOOC variety of MOOCs, and from what I know of the Miriada X platform that is also an xMOOC type of platform. I think it would be useful to make a distinction in your literature review that what you are describing, and the environment which you are researching, is of the xMOOC variety. In lines 246-247 you compare the results of this study to other studies. Are these studies also conducted on the Miriada X platform? It seems like it, but I didn’t want to assume.  How do your results compare to studies done on the Edx and Coursera platforms? There are a few sources out on that.  Anecdotally (and just from my own memory) they seem to be on par.

Smaller editing suggestions: 

Small typo in Line 58. I think you mean “code academy” not “cody academy” It seems like there are 2 “table 1” figures on page 3 – please verify It would be useful to include a percentage in table 1 (lines 118-120) for how many of the completing students completed the questionnaire

 

To conclude: Generally speaking, it's interesting to see the results of a Level 1 evaluation of a course (typically a course evaluation, which is what your questionnaire reminds me of) from a context that is not North American.  However, I am left asking "so what?" - Your demographic findings are pretty similar to what I've seen with coursera and edx courses in the past  7 years (and something that's been widely reported, at least in North America).  As a reader, I would like to know more about how these findings connect with educational and life realities in Spain (since that's where most of your participants came from. You need to help me connect the dots so I can get an answer to the "so what?" question.

Author Response

Response to Reviewer 2 Comments

 

Point 1:

According to the questionnaire, you didn’t ask a question specific to the learner’s native language (lines 139-144) but in your findings you indicate that students were there to study in their native language (Line 255). Is this jumping to a conclusion? It’s not really borne out of the data you collected. Nationality or country of origin doesn’t necessarily connect with the native language of the learner. This also leads me to my subsequent question here: What was the motivation of students to sign up for these specific MOOCs? It might have been to study a topic in their native language, but it might have been to practice language.  Anecdotally, I’ve taken some Miriada X MOOCs over the years to improve my Spanish by learning about something in Spanish (two birds one stone) and I live in the Americas.  My native language is not Spanish.

 

Response 1: The students' native language was not asked because the course was in Spanish and the videos subtitled in Spanish. However, open questions were included to collect different sections. Only 20 responses were written in a different language: in Portuguese.

 

 

Point 2:

Most of your students came from Spain (lines 173-475). Any indication as to why this is? Does it have to do with the institution offering these courses (UMA)?  If these courses were advertised, how were these courses advertised (and to whom)?

 

Response 2: The courses were announced on the Miriadax website and by email to users of that website.

At the University of Malaga, emails were sent to mailing lists with information about MOOCs.

 

 

Point 3:

 

Since most of your learners were from Spain, is there something that you can say about your findings that are of particular importance to Spain given the local realities/expectations/norms? For the 45% that had done a MOOC before (lines 182-183) where had they completed MOOCs and in what language was the MOOC offered in?

 

Response 3: We do not know where the MOOCs had previously been carried out although we assume that the majority in Miriadax as users of said website

 

 

Point 4:

 

Much of what you describe (lines 42-54) describe the xMOOC variety of MOOCs, and from what I know of the Miriada X platform that is also an xMOOC type of platform. I think it would be useful to make a distinction in your literature review that what you are describing, and the environment which you are researching, is of the xMOOC variety.

 

Response 4: The difference between cMOOC and xMOOC is included in Introduction and in Context we indicate that our MOOCs are xMOOC

 

Point 5:

 

In lines 246-247 you compare the results of this study to other studies. Are these studies also conducted on the Miriada X platform? It seems like it, but I didn’t want to assume.  How do your results compare to studies done on the Edx and Coursera platforms? There are a few sources out on that.  Anecdotally (and just from my own memory) they seem to be on par.

 

Response 5: The studies with which it is compared are not made on Miriadax

 

 

Point 6:

 

Small typo in Line 58. I think you mean “code academy” not “cody academy” It seems like there are 2 “table 1” figures on page 3 – please verify It would be useful to include a percentage in table 1 (lines 118-120) for how many of the completing students completed the questionnaire.

 

Response 6: Fixed "code academy"

Including percentage of total students who completed MOOCs

 

Point 7:

 

To conclude: Generally speaking, it's interesting to see the results of a Level 1 evaluation of a course (typically a course evaluation, which is what your questionnaire reminds me of) from a context that is not North American.  However, I am left asking "so what?" - Your demographic findings are pretty similar to what I've seen with coursera and edx courses in the past 7 years (and something that's been widely reported, at least in North America).  As a reader, I would like to know more about how these findings connect with educational and life realities in Spain (since that's where most of your participants came from. You need to help me connect the dots so I can get an answer to the "so what?" question.

 

Response 7: The realization of MOOCs has no special relevance in Spain with respect to formal education nor does it still have recognition in the curricula of the people who make them. All this may change over time, but currently the realization of MOOC is something complementary to the training of each person.

 

 

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 3 Report

The manuscript deals with MOOCs and their survey results.

The topic is relevant to the journal, there are major flaws that prevent publication.

- It requires scientific representation and I highly recommend consulting an English editing service with a native speaker of English.

- Some references are in Spanish and, therefore, it hinders to judge the relevance.

- The manuscript is poorly organized. For example, Section 2 is very short;
Section 3 starts with a subsection without guidance; table numbering is incorrect; and the title of Section 5 includes conclusions and there is Section 6.

- The manuscript is incomplete (c.f., Supplementary Materials)

On the whole, the manuscript requires extensive revision before further review.

 

Author Response

Response to Reviewer 3 Comments

Point 1: It requires scientific representation and I highly recommend consulting an English editing service with a native speaker of English. It requires scientific representation and I highly recommend consulting an English editing service with a native speaker of English.

Response 1: We will request the English review service offered by MDPI

 

Point 2: Some references are in Spanish and, therefore, it hinders to judge the relevance.

Response 2: We appreciate the suggestion, which improves the article, and we have attended it.

 

Point 3:  The manuscript is poorly organized. For example, Section 2 is very short;
Section 3 starts with a subsection without guidance; table numbering is incorrect; and the title of Section 5 includes conclusions and there is Section 6.

Response 3: We appreciate the suggestion, which improves the article, and we have attended it.

 

 

 

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 4 Report

P1, l36: “The global impact of MOOCs in recent years is indisputable, and they are a clear indicator of the 36 current paradigm revolution in higher education”.

 

This is a gross over-simplification. Many people would dispute their true impact and that the initial hype has largely died down. 2014 is generally considered to be ‘peak MOOC’. There is plenty of evidence to suggest they are largely branding exercises for some universities or used to entice students onto regular programmes.

 

P1, l42- P2, l54: Similarly the definition of MOOCs is problematic- describing content rather than pedagogic model. It is usual to distinguish between x and cMOOCs. What would be useful is for the authors say how they define a MOOC for the purposes of the paper.

 

P2, l67: the authors state MOOCs were created for altruistic purposes but cite no evidence to support this. While it may have been a motivation in some instances there are clearly other, more self-interested forces at play. They acknowledge this in respect of their own institution (P3, l103-104).

 

P2 l82-84. It would be useful to use established terminology, that is formal learning (credit bearing, recognised awards) and non-formal learning (planned, structured, formally delivered but not credit bearing). MOOCs are for the most part examples of the latter. There is a literature on this subject not referred to: the consensus of researchers is that MOOC users are usually not interested in accreditation.

 

P3 l100-110. This is where the lack of distinction between x and cMOOCs is important. We simply do not know what the authors mean by ‘MOOC’. We know nothing of the platform, authorship, level of learning, materials, notional learning time etc. It is only on P10 l 206-7 we learn there are “voluntary peer-to-peer (P2P) marking tasks”. It is not even clear what ‘completion’ means.

 

P3, l112 There is no section on the objectives of the study. Why?

 

Earlier, the authors state: “it was considered a priority and strategic (gap here- missing word?) to participate in the implementation of several MOOCs in order to, on the one hand, respond to their social responsibility, by giving back to society, free of charge and openly, part of the knowledge generated within it; and on the other, to achieve a greater international projection for the institution.”

 

The study could have related its objectives to those of the institution or framed the study in relation to the literature- either seeking to text/confirm previous findings or identify gaps. In the event it does neither.

 

As a result the authors have not attempted to answer whether they have achieved a wider social function or whether the MOOCs have been successful marketing tools.

 

P4, l136: I am puzzled by the reference to the Delphi technique- it is a tool for forecasting not testing a questionnaire. The usual method for testing a questionnaire is piloting.

 

P4, l147: Results. I am slightly surprised, given the number of respondents that all the results presented are simply frequency distributions with no testing of the relationships between variables.

 

P11, l231: Conclusions and Discussion

It may seem pedantic but the authors have this the other way round

The authors state: “one of the responsibilities of the university is to give back to society part of the knowledge generated within it”

 

There are two issues with this. First why did this not inform their questioning of respondents by asking for example, how the learning has benefitted them beyond completing the course, whether they could have afforded a course such as this, whether they would have been able to access such a course and so on?

 

Second some MOOCs (cMOOCs) do not start from the proposition that the educational institution is the sole arbiter of what constitutes knowledge and therefore can choose to ‘give’ it back. A less patronising approach is to enable learners to co-construct their own knowledge as is relevant for their needs.

 

It is only at the end of the paper (P12, l289) that the authors acknowledge that MOOCs can be accused of promoting “a new digital divide, since it benefits an elitist, 289 academic and professional community, belonging mostly to developed countries [45,53,54].” It is well established by these and other studies that the biggest consumers of MOOCs are affluent, mid-career professionals seeking CPD. Their own findings, to some extent, confirm this. This should have been stated in the Introduction as part of the discussion of MOOCs and informed the statements made about serving wider societal access to HE

Author Response

Response to Reviewer 4 Comments

 

Point 1: clear indicator of the current paradigm revolution in higher education”.

This is a gross over-simplification. Many people would dispute their true impact and that the initial hype has largely died down. 2014 is generally considered to be ‘peak MOOC’. There is plenty of evidence to suggest they are largely branding exercises for some universities or used to entice students onto regular programmes.

 

Response 1: We are not affirming that MOOCs will become a paradigmatic change in higher education, but we do (as we indicate) that it is an indicator of the change that is undergoing (use of open technological resources, methodological changes, etc.). University in recent years.

 

 

Point 2: P1, l42- P2, l54: Similarly, the definition of MOOCs is problematic- describing content rather than pedagogic model. It is usual to distinguish between x and cMOOCs. What would be useful is for the authors say how they define a MOOC for the purposes of the paper.

 

Response 2: A definition of MOOC has not been given. What we do is "identify common characteristics in most of them".

However, the suggestion to distinguish between x and cMOOC seems very pertinent. It has been done and it is indicated that our studio analyzes the xMOOCs of the University of Malaga.

 

 

Point 3: P2, l67: the authors state MOOCs were created for altruistic purposes but cite no evidence to support this. While it may have been a motivation in some instances there are clearly other, more self-interested forces at play. They acknowledge this in respect of their own institution (P3, l103-104).

 

Response 3: Sources of information have been included to support the claim.

 

 

Point 4: P2 l82-84. It would be useful to use established terminology, that is formal learning (credit bearing, recognised awards) and non-formal learning (planned, structured, formally delivered but not credit bearing). MOOCs are for the most part examples of the latter. There is a literature on this subject not referred to: the consensus of researchers is that MOOC users are usually not interested in accreditation.

 

 

Response 4: We have attended your suggestion and have included literature about it.

 

 

Point 5: P3 l100-110. This is where the lack of distinction between x and cMOOCs is important. We simply do not know what the authors mean by ‘MOOC’. We know nothing of the platform, authorship, level of learning, materials, notional learning time etc. It is only on P10 l 206-7 we learn there are “voluntary peer-to-peer (P2P) marking tasks”. It is not even clear what ‘completion’ means.

 

Response 5: It is corrected that they are xMOOCs. We have introduced a paragraph describing the MOOCs and the paragraph “The evaluation instruments within the MOOCs were mandatory questionnaires and voluntary peer-to-peer (P2P) marking tasks” that was at the end of table 14 has been moved to the paragraph in the The xMOOCs are described.

 

 

Point 6: P3, l112 There is no section on the objectives of the study. Why?

Earlier, the authors state: “it was considered a priority and strategic (gap here- missing word?) to participate in the implementation of several MOOCs in order to, on the one hand, respond to their social responsibility, by giving back to society, free of charge and openly, part of the knowledge generated within it; and on the other, to achieve a greater international projection for the institution.”

The study could have related its objectives to those of the institution or framed the study in relation to the literature- either seeking to text/confirm previous findings or identify gaps. In the event it does neither.

As a result the authors have not attempted to answer whether they have achieved a wider social function or whether the MOOCs have been successful marketing tools.

 

Response 6:

- The two objectives of our studio are included at the end of the Introduction section: “This study analyzes the MOOCs promoted by a university in Spain (namely, the University of Málaga - UMA) to learn more about”. If it is necessary to put them in epigraph separately we would do it.

- “it was considered a priority and strategic (gap here- missing word?) To participate”. No word is missing.

- On whether the UMA xMOOCs have been successful marketing tools we do not know although the institution (through MOOCs) has been known by thousands of users of the Miriradax platform.

 

 

Point 7: P4, l136: I am puzzled by the reference to the Delphi technique- it is a tool for forecasting not testing a questionnaire. The usual method for testing a questionnaire is piloting.

 

Response 7: A pilot test of the questionnaires could not be carried out because the xMOOCs were not tested with students before they were launched in Miriadax, so the Delphi technique was used to validate them.

 

Point 8: P4, l147: Results. I am slightly surprised, given the number of respondents that all the results presented are simply frequency distributions with no testing of the relationships between variables.

 

Response 8: A bivariate analysis of variables has been carried out using the x2 test. It is indicated before tables 2 and 5.

 

 

Point 9: P11, l231: Conclusions and Discussion

It may seem pedantic but the authors have this the other way round

The authors state: “one of the responsibilities of the university is to give back to society part of the knowledge generated within it”

There are two issues with this. First why did this not inform their questioning of respondents by asking for example, how the learning has benefitted them beyond completing the course, whether they could have afforded a course such as this, whether they would have been able to access such a course and so on?

Second some MOOCs (cMOOCs) do not start from the proposition that the educational institution is the sole arbiter of what constitutes knowledge and therefore can choose to ‘give’ it back. A less patronising approach is to enable learners to co-construct their own knowledge as is relevant for their needs.

It is only at the end of the paper (P12, l289) that the authors acknowledge that MOOCs can be accused of promoting “a new digital divide, since it benefits an elitist, 289 academic and professional community, belonging mostly to developed countries [45,53,54].” It is well established by these and other studies that the biggest consumers of MOOCs are affluent, mid-career professionals seeking CPD. Their own findings, to some extent, confirm this. This should have been stated in the Introduction as part of the discussion of MOOCs and informed the statements made about serving wider societal access to HE.

 

Response 9:

- The title of the heading has been changed to Discussion and Conclusions.

- We agree on the two issues it raises. We take note for future work.

- It has been included in the introduction that reproduces a new digital divide.

 

 

 

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Round 2

Reviewer 3 Report

The authors did not thoroughly revise the manuscript based on the reviewers' comments.

I conjecture that the authors did not understand the reviewers' comments.

Thus, I recommend submitting the manuscript to their local (Spain) journal, not an international journal.

Reviewer 4 Report

Please integrate the literature on MOOCs (especially what is already known from empirical studies) into your paper at the outset and when discussing the significance of your own findings.

Please also investigate what the Delphi technique actually is.

 

Points from the previous review:

 

 

“it was considered a priority and strategic (gap here- missing word?) to participate in the implementation of several MOOCs in order to, on the one hand, respond to their social responsibility, by giving back to society, free of charge and openly, part of the knowledge generated within it; and on the other, to achieve a greater international projection for the institution.”

 

There something missing after strategic (objective?) but it is probably simpler and best to say ‘A decision was taken to create several MOOCs’

 

 

I am still puzzled by the reference to the Delphi technique- it is a tool for forecasting not testing a questionnaire. The usual method for testing a questionnaire is piloting. No literature is cited to support the contention that Delphi is a proxy for questionnaire testing. To repeat: Delphi is a forecasting tool.

 

 

The revised text

 

L37- remove the phrase “current paradigm revolution in higher education”- which is hyperbole and not justified by the references. Most people would equate a paradigm shift to a change similar to what occurred in the nineteenth century from a medieval to Humboldtian model of a university. Universities are still, in the Humboldtian tradition, overwhelmingly defined by a teaching and researching in a broad range of subject disciplines delivered in a uni-directional way, as with most MOOCs, including the one here. The term ‘paradigm shift’ (the term used by Kuhn) might be justified if the discussion was of a cMOOC- where learners themselves define the subject and co-create knowledge but the example here is simply an extension of the existing model using new technology. As the authors say, the main change is from closed to open platforms.

 

L55- “Within the MOOCs they have distinguished between the so-called xMOOCs”- the English is a little wonky here. Suggest “It is common to distinguish between xMOOCs, of which the current case is an example and cMOOCs. The former, which comprise the majority, replicate the traditional pattern of delivery: the educator expert chooses the subject, creates the material and conducts the assessment. The main difference is that there is no selection and assessment (unless for credit) is automated. cMOOCs by contrast are co-created by learners with similar interests.” Or something similar.

 

This distinction is important and the reason why MOOCs, on the whole are not as radical as you think.

 

L64- “There is no doubt that its pedagogical design is fundamental and essential for the implementation of an MOOC to the extent that it guides, organizes, structure, systematizes, explicitly and publicizes the training action that is carried out”

 

There is a problem with the meaning of this sentence. If l could understand what you are trying to say l would offer an alternative.

 

L71-81 This paragraph seems out of sequence. It reads as if it should be the opening of the paper.

 

L82- This section discusses the motivations for creating MOOCs without ever explicitly saying so. A fair summary would say it is a mixture of altruism and self interest. Many of the earliest MOOCs were financed by philanthropists but there is also little doubt that universities also see them as marketing devices. I have attended sessions where this has been publicly acknowledged.

 

Just as an aside, at my university we will accept a MOOC certificate as the basis for a claim for past learning. That is if someone has completed a course and has the certificate we will use it as the basis for credit. The student has to demonstrate how they have applied the learning in practice by means of a fully referenced reflective review.

 

But the only one we consider to have sufficient quality and quantity of learning for doing so is that produced by the Saylor Academy. Most MOOC courses have too little learning content and are not aligned with learning levels because their authors hope learners will be enticed into signing up for a full course. Saylor is a genuine philanthropic gift- the equivalent of the public libraries Andrew Carnegie established in the nineteenth century.

 

L101-   “Another issue that universities that teach MOOCs focus on is certification. Being able to certify education enters into conflict with their original philosophy, which is merely formative and of a non-accreditation nature [49]. However, the new scenario is indeed taking shape, due to its potential attraction of both of students and income with initiatives such as logos on the platforms where MOOCs are developed [50] or certificates from universities that pay for their processing, as is the case of the UNED, the Autonomous University of Madrid, etc.”

 

This paragraph also needs re-writing. Some of it is clumsy but l think it best to use the word ‘accreditation’ and provide a definition, perhaps in a footnote. As the authors know, many MOOCs offer certificates but not credit in the sense of an accredited formal qualification/part of qualification- in European terms something recognised as part of the EQF.

 

The accreditation debate in respect of MOOCs is bound up with another issue- how to monetise them. Udacity is now credit bearing (for cash) and Saylor offers accreditation a fee also.

 

In general the Introduction which summarises the literature is muddled and omits some of the important things we already know: namely there are high attrition rates and most of those using MOOCs are mid-career professional graduates looking for free CPD. They are usually not interested in accreditation. The Introduction should be re-visited when discussing the findings at the end.

 

L107- 115- This short section sets out the purposes of the study. It should make clear the study is purely descriptive. It should not here where the discussion is concerned with the literature but before Materials and Methods under a sub-heading ‘Objectives of the study’

 

L125-5- English issue: replace “Each of them, according to the call of the UMA, should have:” with ‘Each of them are modules of six to nine months duration. Within each module are etc.”

 

The findings are summarised in the Conclusions. It would be better if the findings were first summarised under a separate heading and then a Discussion. The Discussion should do what is not done at present and relate the findings to other research into MOOCs.

 

L250- “MOOCs are promoting democratisation and the opening up of knowledge worldwide. Universities must, therefore, contribute to its implementation as a system of lifelong learning that complements their training [4].

 

Where is the evidence to support such a sweeping statement? The paper used to justify this statement has a question mark in it for good reason.

 

Why must universities do as suggested? No one in my university thinks we must do this.

 

L253- English. “In this sense, UMA considers the xMOOC offering.”- this is not a sentence as there is no active verb. Not sure what you are trying to say.

 

L255-6- “We attribute the cause to the very characteristics of this type of course: free of charge, no time requirements, no official certification for students who complete it, etc.” better to cite the literature which has been making this very point for nearly a decade. As mentioned earlier, this should have been mentioned in the Introduction.

 

 

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