An adaptive hybrid MOOC model: Disrupting the MOOC concept in higher education.

Cita: García-Peñalvo, F. J., Fidalgo-Blanco, Á., & Sein-Echaluce, M. L. (2018). An adaptive hybrid MOOC model: Disrupting the MOOC concept in higher education. Telematics and Informatics35(4), 1018-1030.


An adaptive hybrid MOOC model: Disrupting the MOOC concept in higher education.


In the 18th century, the educational model underwent a disruptive change driven by the transition from an agricultural to an industrial society. In the 21st century, the change from the industrial society to a knowledge society has been consolidated, but it has not involved a disruption in the learning context.

Some elements, many based on technologies, can be considered disruptive, but they have not had sufficient effect to produce a change in the model that has predominated for 300 years. In 2008, teachers began to offer training outside the walls of the university, with a totally disruptive and chaotic model compared to the traditional one; this was supported by open, informal, cooperative, connectivist, autonomous and self-guided training. 

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) began with cMOOCs, and most universities join the initiative, but they abandoned this disruption, ultimately offering the same courses they always had with free access for anyone, resulting in the second generation of MOOCs (xMOOCs). These MOOCs responded to a new social demand, but their characteristics and context make a formative disruption – which has not yet emerged – necessary.

This paper analyses the elements of the two generations of MOOCs in order to propose a new model that does not require sophisticated technological solutions and recovers the initial disruptive sense of MOOCs, so called ahMOOC. It also presents a case study that integrates the social advantages of cMOOCs, the organisational benefits of xMOOCs and the personalisation of the learning, which is essential due to the heterogeneity of the participants.

The results and the participant viewpoints emerging from the case study confirm the feasibility of the model, the improvement of the results of current MOOCs and the need – demanded by the participants – to consider diversity, all of which should be accomplished in a disruptive way.

Authors of «adaptive hybrid MOOC model» article

Ángel Fidalgo-Blanco ( Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, España

María Luisa Sein-Echaluce ( Universidad de Zaragoza, España

Francisco García-Peñalvo ( Universidad de Salamanca, España

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