This self-study module is for you if...

…you struggle with online professional development because of motivation, time management, lack of confidence to engage in an international exchange, or a feeling of isolation or being overwhelmed,


…you are generally happy with online professional development but wish you could discuss and share more of what you learn with your school colleagues and also show them what they are missing out on,


…you are a school leader who wants to establish a more collaborative environment at your school, encouraging teachers to share and interact with each other.

If either of these scenarios applies to you, then this module can help you to establish a learning community at school where teachers support each other, share and exchange, and learn together online and in school.

This self-study module focusses on the use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as a framework to establish such learning communities, but many of the ideas presented here should also work for other formats of online learning.

In 2019, the School Education Gateway's Teacher Academy piloted the concept of school-based study groups in eight countries across Europe (Croatia, Germany, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain) in order to address some of the challenges teachers were facing with the Teacher Academy MOOCs. The study groups offered a framework for teachers at a school to work together on MOOCs and support each other to overcome issues associated with low levels of digital, linguistic, and self-regulated learning competence to help them benefit from a MOOC, while at the same time contextualising and localising what was learned on the MOOC and facilitating a transfer to practice. This self-study module is based on the experiences of the eight pilot teachers who implemented such study groups in their schools.

In this self-study module, you will find guidance on how to:

  • Support colleagues in using online courses and communities
  • Establish a more collaborative environment at your school
  • Work collaboratively with school colleagues on developing their teaching capacity
  • Support colleagues with a flexible professional development offer that does not impact on the daily timetable
  • Discuss education and pedagogical topics with school colleagues
  • Experiment with new forms of professional development
  • Develop the digital competence of teachers

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Building School-Based Learning Communities for MOOC-Based Learning

Start date: 25/05/2021 12:00

End date: 29/03/2026 23:59

To join the course, please first register or log in to the School Education Gateway.

Start date

Tuesday, 25 May 2021


The module is self-paced and equivalent to 1 module of a normal Teacher Academy online course taking around 2-3 hours of your time.

Target audience

The module targets any teacher or school leader who wants to set up learning communities in their schools or local areas to improve teacher learning. Teacher trainers, administrators and policy makers in charge of teacher training, as well as organisations offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), might also find the concept and ideas presented in this MOOC of interest.


You will receive a digital badge upon completion of the full module including the final quiz. All badges can be exported to the Badgr Backpack.