Are MOOCs the next trend in social work?: Implications for practice education


  • Trevor Gates College at Brockport, State University of New York
  • Alice Walters



distance education, moocs, education


Higher education continues to evolve responding to technological advances and growing economic challenges. Social work education has been slower to embrace emergent technologies than other fields in higher education. Contributing to this cautious approach may be historical controversy surrounding social work professionalization and practice. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are an important trend gathering recent attention in higher education. The contribution of MOOCs to social work education remains undetermined. This essay explores historical influences impacting current social work education, factors surrounding MOOC utilization, and the relevance of MOOCs for the future of social work education. We provide recommendations for embracing MOOC development in social work education through a deliberative strategy.