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Higher education and the digital revolution: About MOOCs, SPOCs, social media, and the Cookie Monster

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  • Kaplan, Andreas M.
  • Haenlein, Michael

Abstract

Distance learning—that is, providing education to students who are separated by distance and in which the pedagogical material is planned and prepared by educational institutions—is a topic of regular interest in the popular and business press. In particular, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), which are open-access online courses that allow for unlimited participation, as well as SPOCs (Small Private Online Courses), are said to have revolutionized universities and the corporate education landscape. In this article we provide a nuanced analysis of the phenomenon of online distance learning. We first provide an overview of its historical evolution, and subsequently define and classify key concepts. We further discuss in detail the optimal target group in terms of participating students and teaching professors and propose corresponding frameworks for driving intrinsic student motivation and for choosing a successful online teacher. We also outline the benefits that institutions can achieve by offering online distance learning. Finally, we speak about the specific connection between online distance learning and social media by focusing on the difference between MOOCs based on traditional lecture formats (xMOOCs) and connectivist cMOOCs.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaplan, Andreas M. & Haenlein, Michael, 2016. "Higher education and the digital revolution: About MOOCs, SPOCs, social media, and the Cookie Monster," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 441-450.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:bushor:v:59:y:2016:i:4:p:441-450
    DOI: 10.1016/j.bushor.2016.03.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Melissa S. Kearney & Phillip B. Levine, 2015. "Early Childhood Education by MOOC: Lessons from Sesame Street," NBER Working Papers 21229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kaplan, Andreas M. & Haenlein, Michael, 2009. "The fairyland of Second Life: Virtual social worlds and how to use them," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 563-572, November.
    3. Pucciarelli, Francesca & Kaplan, Andreas, 2016. "Competition and strategy in higher education: Managing complexity and uncertainty," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 311-320.
    4. Kaplan, Andreas M. & Haenlein, Michael, 2011. "The early bird catches the news: Nine things you should know about micro-blogging," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 105-113, March.
    5. Kaplan, Andreas M. & Haenlein, Michael, 2011. "Two hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 253-263, May.
    6. Kaplan, Andreas M. & Haenlein, Michael, 2010. "Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 59-68, January.
    7. Kaplan, Andreas & Haenlein, Michael, 2014. "Collaborative projects (social media application): About Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 617-626.
    8. Kaplan, Andreas, 2014. "European management and European business schools: Insights from the history of business schools," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 529-534.
    9. Kaplan, Andreas M. & Haenlein, Michael, 2011. "The early bird catches the news: Nine things you should know about micro-blogging," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 105-113.
    10. Kaplan, Andreas M., 2012. "If you love something, let it go mobile: Mobile marketing and mobile social media 4x4," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 129-139.
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    3. Fahriye Altinay & Gokmen Dagli & Zehra Altinay & Mehmet Altinay, 2020. "Readiness to Online Learning: To Be A Smart University," Revista romaneasca pentru educatie multidimensionala - Journal for Multidimensional Education, Editura Lumen, Department of Economics, vol. 12(1Sup2), pages 09-14, June.
    4. Ştefan-Alexandru Catană & Sorin-George Toma & Andreea Barbu, 2021. "The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Teleworking and Education in a Romanian Higher Education Institution: An Internal Stakeholders Perspective," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(15), pages 1-17, August.
    5. Jackson, Nicole C., 2019. "Managing for competency with innovation change in higher education: Examining the pitfalls and pivots of digital transformation," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 62(6), pages 761-772.
    6. Chao Li & Hong Zhou, 2018. "Enhancing the Efficiency of Massive Online Learning by Integrating Intelligent Analysis into MOOCs with an Application to Education of Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(2), pages 1-16, February.
    7. Kaplan, Andreas, 2018. "A school is “a building that has four walls…with tomorrow inside”: Toward the reinvention of the business school," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 599-608.
    8. Di Vaio, Assunta & Palladino, Rosa & Hassan, Rohail & Escobar, Octavio, 2020. "Artificial intelligence and business models in the sustainable development goals perspective: A systematic literature review," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 283-314.
    9. ILSIAR Pogorelskaya & LÁSZLÓ Várallyai, 2020. "Trends In Education 4.0," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 367-375, July.
    10. Peter M. Bican & Alexander Brem, 2020. "Digital Business Model, Digital Transformation, Digital Entrepreneurship: Is There A Sustainable “Digital”?," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(13), pages 1-15, June.
    11. Radovan Madleňák & Stephen P. D’Alessandro & Agostino Marengo & Jenny Pange & György Iván Neszmélyi, 2021. "Building on Strategic eLearning Initiatives of Hybrid Graduate Education a Case Study Approach: MHEI-ME Erasmus+ Project," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(14), pages 1-13, July.
    12. Albert Rof & Andrea Bikfalvi & Pilar Marquès, 2020. "Digital Transformation for Business Model Innovation in Higher Education: Overcoming the Tensions," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(12), pages 1-15, June.
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    14. Krotov, Vlad, 2019. "Predicting the future of disruptive technologies: The method of alternative histories," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 62(6), pages 695-705.
    15. Yolanda Álvarez-Pérez & Lilisbeth Perestelo-Pérez & Amado Rivero-Santanta & Alezandra Torres-Castaño & Ana Toledo-Chávarri & Andrea Duarte-Díaz & Vinita Mahtani-Chugani & María Dolores Marrero-Díaz & , 2022. "Co-Creation of Massive Open Online Courses to Improve Digital Health Literacy in Pregnant and Lactating Women," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(2), pages 1-15, January.
    16. Vikram Kumar & Ramakrishnan Raman, 2020. "Social Media by Indian Universities – Does it convince or confuse International Students in University Choice?," International Journal of Higher Education, Sciedu Press, vol. 9(5), pages 167-167, October.
    17. Susanne Kubisch & Sandra Parth & Veronika Deisenrieder & Karin Oberauer & Johann Stötter & Lars Keller, 2020. "From Transdisciplinary Research to Transdisciplinary Education—The Role of Schools in Contributing to Community Well-Being and Sustainable Development," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(1), pages 1-13, December.
    18. Sandra Ricart & Rubén A. Villar-Navascués & Salvador Gil-Guirado & María Hernández-Hernández & Antonio M. Rico-Amorós & Jorge Olcina-Cantos, 2020. "Could MOOC-Takers’ Behavior Discuss the Meaning of Success-Dropout Rate? Players, Auditors, and Spectators in a Geographical Analysis Course about Natural Risks," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(12), pages 1-18, June.
    19. Enzo Ferrari & Anne-Marie Ballegeer & Miguel Angel Fuertes & Pablo Herrero & Laura Delgado & Diego Corrochano & Santiago Andrés-Sánchez & Kylyan Marc Bisquert & Antonio Garcia-Vinuesa & Pablo Meira & , 2019. "Improvement on Social Representation of Climate Change through a Knowledge-Based MOOC in Spanish," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(22), pages 1-21, November.
    20. Dima Alina Mihaela & Point Sebastien & Maassen Maria Alexandra & Jansen Adela, 2021. "Academic leadership: agility in the digital revolution," Proceedings of the International Conference on Business Excellence, Sciendo, vol. 15(1), pages 518-529, December.
    21. Gallego Sánchez, María del Carmen & De-Pablos-Heredero, Carmen & Medina-Merodio, Jose-Amelio & Robina-Ramírez, Rafael & Fernandez-Sanz, Luis, 2021. "Relationships among relational coordination dimensions: Impact on the quality of education online with a structural equations model," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 166(C).
    22. Ali Mobini Dehcordi & Seyyed Ahmad Alavi, 2019. "Structural analysis of Iranian educational technologies," Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, Springer;UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship, vol. 9(1), pages 1-18, December.

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