The new term MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) has immediately attracted the masses even though it is just another label for a diversity of different online learning scenarios and methodologies that were already developed and implemented many years before.
MOOCs can be considered and defined as a special type of E-Learning, raising a new interest and offering opportunities to (again) reach learners that are attracted by E-Learning solutions due to many reasons. Thus, MOOCs can be the enablers for a renaissance of E-Learning even though their completion rates are very low and their general quality is questionable and currently under lively debate.
Nowadays, different types of MOOCs (so called cMOOCs and xMOOCs) are discussed but the focus is still on the masses, technology and promised innovations that are not easily to discover: Most MOOCs are lacking continuous tutoring and support for all learners who are expected to teach themselves.
Not only the high drop-out rates have raised the question of quality for MOOCs and several international conferences (such as LINQ 2014) had a special focus on MOOCs. On the other hand MOOCs have prepared the future path for opening up education.
Thus, MOOQ has started to develop a common Quality Reference Framework for improving, assessing and comparing the quality of MOOCs in the future.