Preliminary Version, finally published as:
Ebner, Martin & Schön, Sandra (2020). Future Teacher Training of Several Universities with
MOOCs as OER. In: R.E. Ferdig, E. Baumgartner, E., R. Hartshorne, E. Kaplan-Rakowski, & C.
Mouza, C. (Ed). Teaching, Technology, and Teacher Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Stories from the Field. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), pp.
Please note: Final Book is available under CC BY NC ND:
Future Teacher Training of Several Universities with MOOCs as OER
To train future Austrian teachers in using digital media, a novel didactic design was
implemented at several universities in Austria in summer semester 2019: The course includes
the participation in a MOOC (massive open online course) on the topic, an accompanying
group work at the universities and multiple-choice tests conducted at the universities. In the
summer semester of 2020, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the group work and exams had to be
switched to virtual space as well. Because the course materials are available under an open
license, i.e. as open educational resources, further use is possible and offered.
A fitting implementation of a training on technology-enhanced learning is the use of online
learning. In 2019, seven Austrian universities have developed a concept integrating digital
media into teacher education and successfully implemented it: A Massive Open Online Course
(in short MOOC) was developed and combined with exercises at the participating universities
for teacher education (Ebner et al., 2020). Therefore, we build upon our experiences that
MOOCs can be implemented in diverse different learning designs beside the pure online
course participation: In Ebner et al. (2020) we describe seven different scenarios that we have
implemented and supported within the last years as provider of Austria’s first MOOC platform
(iMooX.at). One scenario is to “blend” a MOOC with parallel activities in additional,
interactive, typically real-life face-to-face activities such as a local learner club or parallel
workshops. We call this approach of blending a former pure online course with face-to-face
learning as “inverse blended learning” (Ebner et al., 2017, Ebner & Schön, 2019). If whole
MOOCs get real-live and interactive add ons, we call this “inverse blended MOOC” or, if a
MOOC gets implemented as a lecture “lecture-based MOOC” (Ebner et al., 2020).
In summer semester 2019, the lecture and exercise “Teaching and learning with new media”
was implemented as a MOOC accompanied by assignments in the learning management
systems of the partner universities and three face-to-face appointments to support the group
work, where learning videos were developed. The exam was an online multiple-choice test
which was taken in person at the partner universities (see Figure 1). The assessment for the
course comprises a successful MOOC participation, the video production (the result of the
group work) and the exam.
Figure 1: Design of lecture and exercise „Learning with new media” in 2019. Note: Online
Implementation parts in white.
Several hundred students in the partner universities took part in the first implementation,
and external learners could also participate in the MOOC: At all the universities in the
network, 605 successfully passed the final examination including the corresponding exercise
and successful MOOC (Ebner et al., 2020, p. 73, see Table 1).
Table 1: Number of participants at the distinct parts of the MOOC “Learning with new media”
in 2019 and lecture and exercise together. Source: Ebner et al. 2020, Table 1, p. 73
Registered participants in MOOC (6 weeks)
Performed self-check test (one per week) in MOOC
Certification for successful MOOC participation
Successful participation at lecture and exercise (MOOC, group work, exam)
Because of the closure of the universities at the beginning of the COVID19 measures mid of
March 2020 and the relocation of the complete classroom teaching to the virtual room, the
design of this course also had to be adapted. Compared to other lectures and exercises, the
transformation was rather simple: Group learning needed to be implemented online and the
final exam will be an online test at the end of the current semester, which is available for a
short time frame (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Design of lecture and exercise “Learning with new media” in 2020 in a pure online
The students have evaluated the design positively in the first round and also accepted the
changes in the current round well so far. The MOOC started on 2nd of March 2020 and counts
1,511 registered participants today (end of April 2020). Currently, the students in the
exercises are asked to produce learning videos, which might be a bit more complicated
concerning group management and collaboration.
Not only within this original course design of 2019 and now adapted design of 2020, we
experienced that implementation of a MOOC can be helpful, especially to reach a large group
of students. Nevertheless, also the transfer from the former face-to-face group works and
multiple-choice tests to a digital variant works quite well. So, the “inverse blended MOOC”
(Ebner, Schön & Braun, 2020) can be extended to a pure online scenario combining a MOOC
as lecture with an online exercise and online exam.
Concerning the rules of MOOC providers and copyright regulations, they typically limit the
external usage of a MOOC. In our case, all MOOCs at our platform iMooX.at are available
under open licenses as open educational resources (in short OER, see Schaffert & Geser,
2008, Ebner et al., 2014). iMooX.at provides several MOOCs, not only, but several for
teachers, most of them in German language, some in English and other languages, for
example “Informatik Fit” (bilingual), an introduction into computer science
(https://imoox.at/mooc/course/view.php?id=71&lang=en). The open license allows not only
free usage of the MOOCs and its materials at the platform iMooX.at, but as well allows
modification and re-publication (the license text describes details, we use different Creative
Commons licenses). So, all materials at our platform can be copied, modified, for example
• Ebner, M., Adams, S., Bollin, A., Kopp, M. & Teufel, M. (2020). Digital gestütztes
Lehren mittels innovativem MOOC-Konzept. journal für lehrerInnenbildung, 20 (1), 68-
• Ebner, M., Khalil, M., Schön, S., Gütl, C., Aschemann, B., Frei, W. & Röthler, D. (2017).
How Inverse Blended Learning Can Turn Up Learning with MOOCs? In: Proceedings of
the International Conference MOOC-MAKER 2017, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala,
November 16-17, 2017, pp. 21-30.
• Ebner, M., Kopp, M., Wittke, A., & Schön, S. (2014). Das O in MOOCs – über die
Bedeutung freier Bildungsressourcen in frei zugänglichen Online-Kursen. HMD - Praxis
der Wirtschaftsinformatik, 52 (1), pp. 66-80.
• Ebner M., Schön S. & Braun C. (2020). More Than a MOOC—Seven Learning and
Teaching Scenarios to Use MOOCs in Higher Education and Beyond. In: S. Yu, M. Ally,
A. Tsinakos (eds.), Emerging Technologies and Pedagogies in the Curriculum. Bridging
Human and Machine: Future Education with Intelligence, Singapore: Springer, pp. 75-
• Ebner, M. & Schön, S. (2019). Inverse Blended Learning – a didactical concept for
MOOCs and its positive effects on dropout-rates. In: M. Ally,M. Amin Embi & H.
Norman (eds.). The Impact of MOOCs on Distance Education in Malaysia and Beyond.
• Schaffert, S. & Geser, G. (2008). Open Educational Resources and Practices. In:
eLearning Papers, 7, Februar 2008.