This house believes that MOOCs can enhance the cross-institutional collaboration and European policies necessary to support refugee HE and employment

This Oxford debate is being conducted as part of the MOONLITE Project.

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Do you agree with the motion?

voted yes
voted no
71% 29%
70% 30%
73% 27%
68% 32%
69% 31%
67% 33%
66% 34%
66% 34%
66% 34%
68% 32%
68% 32%
68% 32%
63% 38%
63% 37%
63% 37%
63% 37%
63% 37%
63% 37%

Debate Summary

In this Oxford-style debate we will be discussing the question of whether MOOCs can facilitate cross-institutional collaboration and the generation of European policies for refugees. This issue is also highly relevant for social inclusion in general and is applicable to a wide range of people “left behind” by standard HE. This debate takes place in the context of the MOONLITE project (, where the applicability and appropriateness of applying MOOCs to refugees and migrants have been analysed and different scenarios for supporting language learning and entrepreneurial skills for this collective have been explored. The protagonist for this debate is Prof. John Traxler, an expert in digital learning and member of the MOONLITE project. The antagonist Caroline Kuhn, an authority in the field of open education. If you are  concerned about social inclusion and have an opinion on whether MOOCs can make a difference, then please take part in this online Oxford-style debate, follow the arguments, participate in the debate, and most importantly, vote on the proposition.

Representing the sides

Defending the motion

John Traxler

Professor John Traxler was Professor of Mobile Learning, the world’s first, since September 2009, and now Research Professor of Digital Learning in the Institute of Education at the University of Wolverhampton UK. He is one of the pioneers of mobile learning and has been associated with mobile learning projects since 2001 when he was evaluator for m-learning, the first major EU project. He is a Founding Director and current Vice-President of the International Association for Mobile Learning, responsible for the annual international mLearn research conference running since 2002.
Against the motion

Caroline Kuhn

Caroline's PhD topic examines the intersections between education, technology, and sociology, looking at students’ daily entanglements with digital tools and platforms, exploring their agency or lack of in digital spaces. She is an open education practitioner and an open researcher.

About this Debate

This Oxford debate is being conducted as part of the MOONLITE Project.


This debate has finished. Voting is now closed.
  1. Beatriz Sedano wrote:
    I totally agree with Sarah and Timothy when they say that open learning and MOOCs for displaced people should be…
    posted on: June 28, 2019 at 7:17 am
  2. Matthias wrote:
    This is a useful and constructive discussion and I agree to those who emphasize the chances offered by MOOCs. Aside…
    posted on: June 27, 2019 at 3:18 pm
  3. Mahdieh Darvish wrote:
    Thank you for these very well presented arguments! There is for sure a need to support refugees in their experience…
    posted on: June 27, 2019 at 12:40 pm
  4. Ildiko Mazar wrote:
    Although I principally agree with the house, the opposition's warnings are relevant and it's good to see them being agreed…
    posted on: June 27, 2019 at 8:33 am
  5. John Traxler wrote:
    thanks for those recent comments and i think drawing them together that MOOCs do indeed provide our best hope, because…
    posted on: June 27, 2019 at 8:32 am
  6. Timothy read wrote:
    When we started to consider the development of MOOCs for refugees, in the MOONLITE project, the first thing we did…
    posted on: June 27, 2019 at 8:17 am
  7. Alastair Creelman wrote:
    Thanks Caroline for linking to our OU /ReFER report from last year. That had a much wider scope than just…
    posted on: June 25, 2019 at 1:30 pm
  8. Caroline Kuhn wrote:
    The more I think about this the more I am convinced that there is a need to support refugees in…
    posted on: June 24, 2019 at 9:58 pm
  9. Sarah Lambert wrote:
    The evidence so far shows that MOOCs are useful for the already educated to update skills and from John's opening…
    posted on: June 24, 2019 at 9:00 pm
  10. John Traxler wrote:
    I understand and sympathise with many of the reservations about MOOCs, for example those about access, but feel progress can…
    posted on: June 21, 2019 at 10:00 am
  11. Alastair Creelman wrote:
    I agree with Caroline that MOOCs in themselves do not enhance educational opportunities for refugees. It's a much more complex…
    posted on: June 21, 2019 at 9:23 am
  12. Matthias wrote:
    In my opinion MOOCs offer many possibilities for refugees because they help overcoming, amongst others, distance, time and cost barriers.…
    posted on: June 21, 2019 at 7:16 am
  13. Rene Ceipek wrote:
    I think Moocs are a great opportunity to let disadvantaged people benefit from very relevant knowledge without a lot of…
    posted on: June 20, 2019 at 4:03 pm
  14. Charlotte Traeger wrote:
    By working and opening up the debate on the use of MOOCs for social inclusion, it is indeed possible to…
    posted on: June 20, 2019 at 2:53 pm
  15. Markus Bick wrote:
    Many thanks for this! Very well presented arguments! To step forward we defintely need to copnsider these...
    posted on: June 20, 2019 at 1:34 pm
  16. Welf Löwe wrote:
    I've agreed with "this house". If I was to post a comment I'd write: Where is the data supporting the…
    posted on: June 19, 2019 at 11:25 am
  17. Eric wrote:
    I first came accros the promise of open educational resources and free online education (whether called MOOCs or otherwise) to…
    posted on: June 19, 2019 at 11:12 am
  18. Piet Henderikx wrote:
    It can definite support higher educational policies for refugees. MOOCs are still open and free and there are quite a…
    posted on: June 19, 2019 at 10:58 am
  19. John Traxler wrote:
    i think in some senses we have already won this debate; MOOCs *can* make these enhancements. Now we must move…
    posted on: June 19, 2019 at 10:52 am
  20. Anthony F. Camilleri wrote:
    In this respect I think that not MOOCs are created equal. In particular for providing access to Higher Education, MOOCs…
    posted on: June 19, 2019 at 9:27 am
  21. John Traxler wrote:
    i think we need to preserve the idea of openness as an ideal and an aspiration, one that everyone can…
    posted on: June 19, 2019 at 8:34 am
  22. Brenda Thomas wrote:
    It's not accurate to say that MOOCs are OERs that are freely available to all. The openness of MOOCs means…
    posted on: June 17, 2019 at 12:57 pm
  23. Timothy read wrote:
    Powerful arguments well presented on both sides of the proposition. Data obtained in the project show that inclusive MOOCs developed…
    posted on: June 17, 2019 at 8:20 am