17 Brahimi and Sarirete, “Learning outside the classroom through MOOCs”


Brahimi, T., & Sarirete, A. (2015). Learning outside the classroom through MOOCs. Computers in Human Behavior, 51, 604-609. Retrieved from https://www-sciencedirect-com.proxy.lib.iastate.edu/science/article/pii/S0747563215001995


Tayeb Brahimi and Akila Sarirete’s article “Learning outside the classroom through MOOCs” (2015), noted recent advances of MOOCs (Massive open online courses) and suggested ways of integration with the high school curriculum. Brahimi and Sarirete’s purpose was to point out the need for educators to revise their high school curriculum with the immersion of MOOCs to help prepare students for life after school. Brahimi and Sarirete used a survey to “understand how students perceive learning outside the classroom through social media, online courses, school website, and private tutoring” (2015, p. 604).  Brahimi and Sarirete pointed out how MOOCs can change our education in all countries throughout the world.

Summary of Key Points

  • MOOCs have a worldwide reach, limitless number of students, and has open access. Open access is accomplished with the application of social networking and use of video podcasts. MOOCs have received the interest of a diverse range of learners from “different ages, nationalities, backgrounds, abilities, interests, etc.” (Brahimi and Sarirete, 2015, p. 604). Learners engaged in MOOCs can learn and collaborate not only locally, but with others around the globe.
  • MOOCs bring a transformation to our educational system that can bring value to learning outside the classroom and to the working structure of our academic institutions today.
  • With MOOCs, you have the choice of courses from the top instructors and well-known  universities in the world.  You will be socially connecting and collaborating with other learners who have an interest in the same subject as you.
  • The United States offers the greatest number of courses in the largest range of subjects. The majority of the courses are in the computer science and humanities subjects.
  • MOOCs have a less than 10-percent completion rate which is a major concern for faculty members. The top reason for this low completion rate is learners register in a MOOCs course to inquire into a subject with no intention in completing the course.
  • Learners succeed in MOOCs with good interpersonal connection and support. High schools prepare learners with skills in computer programming and problem-solving. These skills combined with live class instruction increase the graduation rate and prepares them for college courses.


MOOCs are fairly new, but took off rapid and was implemented in vast amount of countries. MOOCs utilize the flipped classroom methods of open access, and the learner networking with other students and peers. Students collaborating among each other has the learning cycle continues to revolve around and around. There are many constraints and affordances with MOOCs. The biggest criticism of MOOCs is the low completion rate that can be lower than 10 percent, even with some of the best teachers and best universities. Learners can choose from a wide variety of courses and form social connections with other learners of the same interest. MOOCs are being used to reduce K12 dropout rate. The majority of people believe that traditional face-to-face courses are higher quality than online courses. The biggest concern is that MOOCs have limited learner to teacher interactions. Without learner-teacher interactions the learner will feel the lack of support and connectiveness to the course. Without the connectiveness and the no penalty for dropping the course it becomes very easy for the learner to drop out and not complete the course.

Discussion questions

  1. What are some of the recent MOOCs developments and how do they affect the learner and/or the teacher?
  2. How do MOOCs reduced K12 dropout rate and prepare students for life after school?
  3. How can MOOCs be incorporated into the curriculum for high school?

Additional resources

Munoz-Merino, P., Ruiperez-Valiente, J., Delgado Kloos, C., Auger, M., Briz, S., De Castro, V., & Santalla, S. (2017). Flipping the classroom to improve learning with MOOCs technology. Computer Applications in Engineering Education, 25(1), 15–25.

Xie, Z. (2019). Bridging MOOC Education and Information Sciences: Empirical Studies. IEEE Access, 7, 1.


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