The Landscape of MOOC Platforms Worldwide

Keywords: Massive open online course, MOOC, MOOC platform, open education, users’ engagement


Previous studies have mainly investigated major massive open online course (MOOC) platforms such as Coursera, edX, and Udemy. This study used 21 metrics to explore 35 MOOC platforms from across the world. Five Web analytics tools were used to analyze these MOOC platforms using data from MOOC platform directories and exploration of platform sites. The findings revealed that many universities, companies, and organizations have cooperated with the platforms and provided MOOCs through them. Major global platforms have offered thousands of MOOCs while regional platforms were more likely to have offered dozens. Some large platforms had millions of registered users while others registered just thousands. The major global platforms were established in the US to offer MOOCs mainly in English, though they offered MOOCs in other languages as well. The regional platforms offered MOOCs mainly in local languages, and to some extent in English and other languages. Some platforms engaged users for long periods while others failed to keep users after they viewed the first page of the platform. On average, a visitor stayed on a platform for 8 minutes visited 7.2 pages per visit. Major global platforms attracted users from all over the world, while regional platforms mainly attracted users from countries where the regional platform language was spoken. Some platforms had very few accessibility and contrast errors while other platforms performed poorly. Most platforms were mobile-friendly. However, administrators of almost all MOOC platforms should take actions to increase the speed of their platform. Other recommendations include undertaking marketing campaigns to increase the number of partners, the number of MOOCs offered, and the platforms’ visibility.

Author Biographies

Maria Perifanou, SMILE (Smart Mobile Interactive Learning Environments) lab

Dr Maria Perifanou is an adjunct lecturer at the Faculty of Italian Language & Literature at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, an adjunct academic staff at Hellenic Open University at TESOL Master's Programme and an adjunct Italian lecturer at the University of Macedonia (GR). She works also as senior researcher at the Smart and Mobile Learning Environments (SMILE) Lab of the University of Macedonia (GR) in the field of CALL and TEL. She holds a Master's degree in ICT and Foreign Language education from Ca’ Foscari, University of Venice, (IT), and a PhD from the University of Athens, (GR), in the field of Applied Linguistics. 

Over the last ten years, she has collaborated with various European research institutions on more than 35 EU funded research projects in the field of Technology-Enhanced Learning, notably “Language learning and social media – 6 Key dialogues”, LangMOOC, Evolution of reading in the age of digitization (E-READ).  

Furthermore, she worked for 3 years as a TEL consultant and project coordinator at the Open Education Europa portal for the Commission's Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC). Currently, she works for 7 EU projects: PASTILLE, DETEL, FeSTEM, TRinE, CARAT, including the DC4LT and the OPENLangNET Erasmus+ projects in which she holds the roles of projects’ initiator, scientific manager, and senior researcher. 

She is the author of over 80 articles that have been published in peer-reviewed journals, conferences, and books. She is also a member of different European TEL research networks and communities and has also been awarded several international and national scholarships and fellowships for her research (by STELLAR, UNESCO, EA-TEL, GRnet).

Anastasios A. Economides, University of Macedonia
I am Professor at the University of Macedonia (UoM,, Thessaloniki, Greece. I am member of the Quality Assurance Unit of the UoM and deputy representative at EL.ID.E.K. (the official administration for the National/Greek Research Policy, I am the Director of SMILE (Smart & Mobile Interactive Learning Environments, lab and CONTA (COmputer Networks and Telematics Applications, lab at UoM. I have a M.Sc. (1987) and a Ph.D. (1990) degree in Computer Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles ( I have published two (2) books, more than one hundred (100+) peer-reviewed journal papers, one hundred fifty (150+) peer-reviewed conference papers and twenty (20+) peer-reviewed chapter books. I have received around 3500 citations, h-index = 32, i10-index = 86, (10 Jan. 2018): I teach courses (postgraduate, undergraduate and continuing education) on Educational Technology, Digital Entrepreneurship, E-Commerce, Computer & Networking Technologies, Information Systems Applications in Economy & Business, etc. I have been the Director (2008-14) and the deputy Director (2000-2006) of the Interdepartmental Programme of Postgraduate Studies in Information Systems at UoM ( I have received dozens of research awards (e.g. Best Conference paper) and fellowships (e.g. Greek State Scholarships Foundation -IΚΥ, Fulbright). I have been Visiting Professor at the University Pompeu Fabra (2015), Open University of Catalonia (2014), University of Southern California (1998), Technical University of Denmark (1997), University of Helsinki (1997) and Helsinki University of Technology (1997). I have been Keynote Speaker at five (5) international conferences, in the program committee of dozens international conferences and in the editorial board of dozens international journals. I have been principal and/or scientific investigator in more than 10 projects and participated in more than 30 projects. Finally, I have been evaluator of dozens project proposals (European, Greek), journal papers, conference papers, Ph.D. theses, M.Sc. theses, professors’ promotions etc.


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How to Cite
Perifanou, M., & Economides, A. A. (2022). The Landscape of MOOC Platforms Worldwide. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 23(3), 104-133.
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