HRK says: MOOCs are not instruments with which to make savings

24. June 2014

The Senate of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) has rejected any ideas that given the debt brake, funding might be saved with MOOCs: "MOOCs are very resource-intensive and are therefore not suitable as instruments with which to make savings," explained HRK President, Professor Dr. Horst Hippler.

The HRK is in favour of further investigation of the possibilities offered by developing digital teaching formats. These formats include Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

"We must identify the potential and the problems of MOOCs and decide on this basis whether they offer added value for individual universities," said the HRK President. This added value, he continued, might be in marketing, transitional programmes, minor subjects, seminar-like and interdisciplinary content and certain areas in professional development and cooperation with other higher education institutions. There are problems and risks in providing open access, integrating MOOCs in the course of study, the relatively high drop-out rate, data protection and in the legally uncontestable identification of individuals taking examinations.

Those responsible in the higher education institutions should ensure that MOOCs are included in the higher education strategy and oriented towards priorities and target groups. "The higher education institutions must investigate whether they offer their digital teaching formats via a commercial platform or use platforms developed by higher education institutions or groups of higher education institutions," Hippler said.

Text of the resolution