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Massive Open Online Research (MOOR)

Engaging students in massive open online research for academic or real world problems

Photo of Kate Rushton
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Bioinformatics Algorithms – Part 1 is a course on Cousera developed by a team at UC San Diego that incorporates a substantial research component, a combination of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with Massive Open Online Research (MOOR). 

 “All students who sign up for the course will be given an opportunity to work on specific research projects under the leadership of prominent bioinformatics scientists from different countries, who have agreed to interact and mentor their respective teams.”

“What sets us apart is combining research with a MOOC,” said Ph.D. student Phillip Compeau, who helped develop the online course. “The natural progression of education is for people to make a transition from learning to research, which is a huge jump for many students, and essentially impossible for students in isolated areas. By integrating the research with an interactive text and a MOOC, it creates a pipeline to streamline this transition.”

"We have the opportunity to reach many more students than would be possible at one university or even one country. There are students everywhere who could use this as a stepping stone to a career in a field that is going to change the world as we know it"

More information is available via UCS Davis News

Specifically, please check all that apply:

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

I am the Community Guide for this challenge. I have studied at Birmingham, Nottingham and Leeds University in the UK and graduated with qualifications in Biochemistry, Toxicology, and Environmental Management. I have held a number of jobs including being a TEFL teacher and energy analyst.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Can we adopt MOOR into other disciplines? Can we use MOOCs and MOORs to make higher education more inclusive and comprehensive? What is missing from the combined MOOC and MOOR model?


Join the conversation:

Photo of Julien Buckley

Hello Kate,
I appreciate the parallel that you make between MOOC an MOOR, which I believe can allow students to apply the knowledge that they have learned during a MOOC and build new knowledge upon it during a MOOR!
I also believe that on demand personalized guidance could be an important addition to both processes.

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Julien Buckley ! Thank you for your comments. If you haven't already, I recommend that you take a look at this post - "Discovering the Drivers of Change in Higher Ed" especially the comment by Rob in response to my comment here -!comments-section

Photo of Julien Buckley

Hello Kate, I have just looked at the posts and comments that you recommended. I believe that a combination of the MOOC-augmented and MOOR address the mentioned points. I could go over each one in a more detailed post when the discussion evolves into specifics.  

Photo of Michael

This is a really clever idea.  A problem with a lot of assignments is that they don't matter, they're just irrelevant practice or too neatly wrapped up to be realistic.  Likewise, with research there are problems that need more eyes and aren't getting it.  This neatly hits both birds with one stone.