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MOOCs and upskilling in Australia: A qualitative literature study

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  • D. Santandreu Calonge
  • M. Aman Shah
  • K. Riggs
  • M. Connor
Article number1687392
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>14/11/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Cogent Education
Issue number1
Number of pages19
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date4/11/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Access to digital technology has demonstrated the ability to change learning in the workplace with easily available resources and flexibility through often self-paced learning environments, offering employees the ability to take control of their learning experiences. The scarce existing body of research suggests that “specialised” MOOCs may be an effective means of upskilling the workforce. Whilst MOOCs offer a convenient, scalable and cost-effective means for businesses looking to increase or update skills within their workforce, much uncertainty still exists about both Australian employers’ and employee perceptions and attitudes towards the use of MOOCs as a way of addressing the skills gaps. The aim of this study was to explore the potential for MOOCs in addressing the skills gaps in the Australian workforce through a systematic qualitative review of the literature. In total, 19 research and media articles were reviewed. Three major themes emerged: MOOCs and flexibility for learning, MOOCs for on-demand, lifelong learning in a rapidly changing workplace, and credentialing of MOOCs towards a formal qualification. This study aims to contribute to this growing area of research by exploring the extent to which MOOCs might help address skills shortages and upskill employees in an Australian context.