Designing the First Finnish MOOCs

Otto Seppälä, Juha Sorva, Arto Vihavainen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Two leading universities in Finland, Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, each offer a programming course as a free online course, known as a MOOC. These courses have been taken by thousands of Finnish-speaking students and have received outstanding student feedback.
We discuss the pedagogical choices of the two courses as well as the basis of these choices, which lies in theories of instructional design and computing education research. We identify features of these courses that enable us to provide students with a better learning experience. Drawing on our experiences, we highlight future challenges in improving our own MOOCs as well as others.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Ways to Teach and Learn in China and Finland
Subtitle of host publicationCrossing Boundaries with Technology
EditorsHannele Niemi, Jiyou Jia
PublisherPeter Lang
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-631-69873-0, 978-3-631-69874-7, 978-3-631-69875-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-631-67642-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA3 Book section, Chapters in research books


  • MOOCs
  • Massive Open Online Courses
  • programming education
  • novice programmers
  • CS1
  • distance learning


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