Is My MOOC Learner-Centric? A Framework for Formative Evaluation of MOOC Pedagogy


  • Veenita Shah IDP in Educational Technology, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India
  • Sahana Murthy IDP in Educational Technology, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India
  • Sridhar Iyer IDP in Educational Technology, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India



massive open online course, pedagogical quality of MOOCs, instructional design, quality evaluation methods, formative evaluation of MOOC pedagogy


MOOCs popularly support the diverse learning needs of participants across the globe. However, literature suggests well-known scepticism regarding MOOC pedagogy which questions the effectiveness of the educational experience offered by it. One way to ensure the quality of MOOCs is through systematic evaluation of its pedagogy with the goal to improve over time. Most existing MOOCs’ quality evaluation methods do not account for the increasing significance of learner-centric pedagogy towards providing a richer learning experience. This paper presents a MOOC evaluation framework (MEF), designed with a strong pedagogical basis underpinned by theory and MOOC design practices, which evaluates the integration of learner-centric pedagogy in MOOCs. Using mixed-methods research, the internal validation was conducted through expert reviews (N = 2), and external validation (N = 13) was conducted in the field to test model usability and usefulness. The framework was classified as “good” (SUS: 78.46) in terms of usability. A high perception of usefulness (84%–92%) was observed for the framework as a formative evaluation tool for assessing the integration of learner-centric pedagogy and bringing a positive change in MOOC design. Different participants acknowledged new learning from varied dimensions of the framework. Participants also recognized that the scores obtained using the MEF truly reflected the efforts taken to incorporate learner-centric design strategies in the evaluated dimensions. The framework focuses on learner-centric evaluation of MOOC design with a goal to facilitate improved pedagogy.

Author Biographies

Veenita Shah, IDP in Educational Technology, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India

Veenita Shah is a Senior Project Research Scientist in the Interdisciplinary Programme in Educational Technology at IIT Bombay. Her research interest lies in online learning and effective pedagogical considerations in MOOCs for higher engagement and learning gains. Teacher education, and developing learning design and evaluation frameworks to address the current pedagogical challenges in e-learning has been a prominent part of her work.

Sahana Murthy, IDP in Educational Technology, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India

Sahana Murthy is a Professor in the Interdisciplinary Programme in Educational Technology at IIT Bombay. Her research interest is in technology-enhanced learning of disciplinary practices: developing students’ problem-solving, design thinking and inquiry practices in STEM domains via interactive technology-enhanced learning environments. Another area of focus is teacher use of educational technologies, which has led to the design, implementation and evaluation of models for large-scale teacher professional development and learner-centric approaches in blended contexts. 

Sridhar Iyer, IDP in Educational Technology, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India

Sridhar Iyer is a Professor in the Interdisciplinary Programme in Educational Technology at IIT Bombay. He is also the Principal Investigator of the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning at IIT Bombay. His current research interests include: technology enhanced learning environments for thinking skills, pedagogies for effective use of educational technologies and computer science education research. 


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How to Cite

Shah, V., Murthy, S., & Iyer, S. (2023). Is My MOOC Learner-Centric? A Framework for Formative Evaluation of MOOC Pedagogy. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 24(2), 138–161.



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