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MOOCS: Digesting the Facts

Distance Education Volume 35, Number 2, ISSN 0158-7919


The techniques used in massive open online courses (MOOCs) are compared with supersizing in the fast food industry. Similarities include the profit motives, marketing techniques, criticisms, industry defences, and evolution of the two controversies. While fast food restaurants strategically increase the size of their meal courses and consumer base, MOOC providers increase the size of their student enrolments and the amounts of online course material they provide for the students to consume. In the two contexts, franchise owners and educational administrators deliver the supersized courses to their customers with apparent disregard for their widening negative effects. Educational institutions are encouraged to consider the ethics of these practices in order to prevent the unmonitored spread of junk education.


Baggaley, J. (2014). MOOCS: Digesting the Facts. Distance Education, 35(2), 159-163. Retrieved December 3, 2023 from .

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