Maastricht University starts its first MOOC

People from all around the world have registered for Maastricht University’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), which will start on 5 October. Participants include people from the Philippines, Kenya, Mexico, Iran, the United States and various European countries. This free online course, titled Problem-Based Learning: Principles and Design, will focus its attention on the innovative teaching method Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Over nine weeks, participants will learn how PBL can be applied in education and what it is like to learn through PBL.

The MOOC takes Maastricht University one step further in introducing the world to problem-based learning by letting the participants work with PBL in a MOOC setting. Dr Daniëlle Verstegen, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Research and Development at UM and MOOC project leader: ‘That's the unique thing about this programme: although a MOOC by definition is a ‘large-scale, massive’ course, the principles of PBL were followed as much as possible in setting up this course. The MOOC is centred around authentic problems where participants work together in groups, just like PBL is applied in everyday practice in all instruction at Maastricht University.’

What is Problem-Based Learning? It is an educational model with a student-oriented approach that not only emphasises critical thinking, but also encourages working together in small groups. It encourages students to get involved in their learning process and equips them with the skills they need to be successful in their future careers. Since its founding, Maastricht University has applied PBL in all its instruction. The PBL method has also proved its worth to institutions like Stanford University and University College London.

The MOOC is intended for everyone who teaches in higher education, but it is also interesting for other instructors or students who want to learn more about PBL. Participants can choose from three tracks: teaching and tutoring, design and development, or assessment and organisation. At the end of the course, the participants will not only have learned how PBL can be applied, but will have also experienced the PBL system themselves.

About 1900 participants have registered for the MOOC, which begins on 5 October.  Those who are interested can still register via this link (

More information:
You can watch the trailer here:

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