The current situation is hindering the breakthrough of MOOC
programmes and online continuous education / CPD
• Response to growing demand for shorter programmes
Offering more relevant, high quality and recognised online offerings
• Response to lack of clarity on qualifications; Microcredentials (CMF)
European MOOC Consortium
Create a structure and dialogue, defining the role of MOOC platforms,
universities, employmentservices and companies/sectors in organizing
MOOCs and digital continuous education and training
To empower universities,employment services and companiesin (co-
)developing, (co-)delivering and using MOOCs for CE, CPD/CVT in
order to integrateMOOCs and digitaleducationand training in current
• Provide high quality,highly relevant and recognised
MOOCs for the labourmarket
• Extend continuouseducationand professional career
developmentfor the EU labourmarket
• Enhance the qualityand strength of the European
workforce in terms of employability,innovationand
• Create a framework for structural collaboration onthe
development,delivery and use of MOOCs
• Raise competitivenessof regions and members states
Goal of the 2nd convention
The second Conventionof the knowledge alliance will take place in
order to present MOOC offeringsand the microcredentialframework
and to discuss ways forwardto integrate MOOCs and MOOC-based
programmesin training provisionsfor the labour market.
• MOOC platforms,
• Universities and university networks,
• Public employment services,
• Sectoral organizations,
• Social partners and
• Policy makers from the European Commission and national
Position paper EMC-LM stakeholder
The positionpaper reflects the state of the art of MOOCs and online
learningin each of the stakeholder organizations.
It is completed by a message of the respective stakeholders to the
conventionon their role regarding the future development of MOOCs
and digital learning opportunitiesfor the labour market.
Message MOOC Platforms
MOOC platforms and universities collaborate with private and public labour
market organisations: sectors, enterprises, ministries and public agencies.
They deliver and co-create with these organisations MOOCs and MOOCs
pathways for employment and innovation which after assessment are awarded
with CMF microcredential . These are stackable to wider certified programmes
and academic degrees. Due to the crisis, more and more people have to change
from a particular sector to another branch or business. Microcredentials can
facilitate this by retraining people.
They are able to deliver comprehensive services for the organisation of high
quality continuous professional development of their workforce in sectors,
companies and public services, reducing the cost by flexibility and scalability.
This can include a specific training platform for a company or a sector (private or
public), eg a dedicated company space, a white label platform or other specifc
Message Public employment agencies
In EU countries, public employment services (PES) are the authoritiesthatconnect jobseekers with
employers. Althoughstructureddifferently in each country, all PES help match supply and demand on the
labour market throughinformation, placement and active support servicesat local, nationaland European
Public employment agenciesorganisea network ofregional and sub-regional competence and training
centers for employment, innovation andcareer guidance. They host as welle-learning centers where
learners can find courses at all levels. In many cases, theycooperate with the private sector.
So far, public employment services have onlya limited experience with MOOCs. However, MOOCs are
attractive to them because of their quality, flexibility, scalability and cost. For the targetgroupsof PES,
it is important that MOOCs have a modular structure consistingof small learning unitsto be affordable for
learners at work. Learners atwork need sometimes bite-sized pieces of learning.
Also, awarding microcredentials is important, althoughnotall learners requesta qualification.
MOOCs might fasten learning in particular areasor sectors, whichis really needed, eg regarding
digitalization. In COVID-times, rapid responseshave to be given, for example in teacher trainingand
MOOCs are also useful for training transversal 21st century skills. (creativity, critical thinking,
collaboration, communication, information literacy, adaptability, leadership, social skills andproductivity. )
From the point of view of public employmentservices, there is a need for a comprehensive
approach to blended and onlinelearning opportunitieswhich includespedagogical,
organisational and technological aspects. There are no Europeansolutionsor references
for such an approach, which could be implemented atthe nationalor regionallevel. Such an
approach would also includethetraining of trainers. Nextto other providers, MOOC
platformsand higher education institutions could have a role in this.
Message sectoral organisations and companies
Public and private sectors have created sectoral fundsfor educationandtrainingby whichall companies
(SMEs and large businesses) can fund training initiatives for their workforce. They serve a large variety of
learners fromthe lowly qualified to the highly qualified. Companies are not yet familiar with digital
training. Therefore, a multiple approach is needed combining digital and face to face learning.
Some sectors develop digital learning platforms for enterprises integrating all learning initiatives of the
In some countries, also the public sector is cooperating with MOOC platforms, for example for the in-service
training of teachers or for training civilservants in theiradministration, reaching out to massive numbersof
Next to a general platformwithfree courses, MOOC platformsprovide aswell specific company spaces, white
label platforms or voucher systems for individual private companies. By doing this, theycreate a new
learning environment facilitatingthe uptake of learning pathwaysby employees. They can selectMOOCs
pathways for their company at a reduced cost which can be awarded by CMF microcredentials.
Guiding learners and offering structured learning pathways awarded with (micro)credentials will support
the motivation of learners and avoid drop-out. Social learning is also important to supportmotivationand
for constructing knowledge.
Message of Universities
Universitiesare rethinking policiesand strategiesfor higher education for continuing
education and professional development for which onlinesolutionsare needed to Increase
accessibility flexibility and scalability. Thisrespondsto the needs for continuing education
and professionaldevelopmentin society.
In the framework of these new developments, microcredentialswill stimulatethe
modularization of continuing educationand willmake this better accessiblefor learners.
Microcredentialswill be stackableto wider shortlearning and degree programs. In some
universities, also academic master programswillbe organized in a modular way offering
academic microcredentialswith a professionalorientation for alumnialready atwork.
In this process, universitiesincreasingly collaboratewith companiesand sectors for the co-
creation under many modalities, eg needs analysis, offering internshipsor theco-creation
University alliances(EUI) and other university networkshave started with newinitiatives
for continuing education and professional development using onlinelearning
opportunitiesand MOOCs. Thisnew developmentwill lead to innovative new educational
formatsand pedagogies. Collaboration willalso improve quality and a better coverage of a
Message of governmentsand EU
Governmentsare developingstrategic plansfor continuing education and professional
development in which both the ministries of education and labour are involved.
However, in most European countries this processis goingslowly.
Also because of the COVID crisis a sense ofurgency is increasing and governements foresee specific
funding for professional developmentand vocational training. Part of thisfunding is comingfromthe
European Union’s Recovery Plan.
Governments should introduce a dialogue between all stakeholders: universities, sectors and
companies, public employmentservices. This dialogue shouldbe extendedto the social partners.
All should be aware of the potential of online learning opportunities and MOOCs because of their
quality, flexibility and scalability.
The European Union is promoting education and training for the labour market by innovation in
higher education (HE-Innovate), Smart specialisation, university-business cooperation initiatives,
enhancing LM relevance and outcomes of HE.
5 Breakout sessions
Group 1: led by Kate Sandars
Group 2: led by Catherine Mongenet
Group 3: led by Matthew Hodges
Group 4: led by PierpaoloLimone – Anna Dipace
Group 5: led by George Ubachs – Piet Henderikx
Expected outcomes of the breakout sessions
Discuss ways forward to integrate MOOCs and MOOC-based programmes
in training provisions for the labour market
• Are labour market organisations ready to work with MOOCs and online
Answers by: companies, sectors, Public employment services, Public
• What conditions have to be fulfilled to integrate MOOCs and online
learning opportunities in the training programmes for the labour market
Answers by: companies, sectors, Public employment services, Public
• How are we going to establish and sustain the dialogue between the
MOOC platforms, universities and the labour market?