Two cybersecurity pilot projects, CyberSec4Europe and CONCORDIA, have jointly organised a survey on the certification of MOOCs as part of an investigation regarding the future of MOOCs in cybersecurity and the value of a possible related certification.

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Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs are frameworks that provide online, accessible, collaboration and learning spaces where learners can participate in a training course, interact with other students, complete assignments etc. MOOC courses still contain the basic characteristics of traditional courses (e.g., training material, instructor, participants etc) without having to be subject to traditional constraints (e.g. location, participation etc).

The year 2020 and the COVID-19 crisis have given an unprecedented rise in MOOC participation. For example, three MOOC providers (Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn) registered as many new users in April 2020 as in the whole of 2019.

 

The sheer volume is staggering. There were 32.7 million new users registered across four platforms during 2020 representing a 120% increase on the number of registrants in 2019. With hundreds of MOOCs currently available, the industry is expected to grow at a rate of at least 40% over the next seven years.

MOOCs have been implemented for a variety of subjects, one of which is cybersecurity.  Given the existing cybersecurity skills gap in Europe, the role of such MOOCs is increasingly significant and is attracting widespread attention. With MOOC utilisation undergoing such hype driven by the numerous provided solutions, this survey aims to identify whether there is a need for further standardisation of (cybersecurity) MOOC implementations and whether a possible certification scheme would provide added value to the learner, the offering institution or any other interested party.

 

Survey respondents should ideally have experience as a MOOC learner (student), instructor or educator. The closing date for responding to the survey, which should take around ten minutes to complete, is 8 February 2021.

Participation is completely voluntary. Demographic and other personal data will be used in pseudonymised form for the research purpose of collecting and analysing opinions on quality criteria of MOOCs and MOOC certification and processed in compliance with the GDPR. The data controller is Karlstad University: