Scientists from five Swedish universities were interviewed about open second cycle education. Research groups and scientists collaborate closely with industry, and the selection of scientists for the study was made in relation to an interest in developing technology-enhanced open education, indicated by applications for funding from the Knowledge Foundation 2013. The study is founded on Conole’s (2012) seven organizational purposes for open education, Coursera’s eight models (Daniel, 2012), and Clarke’s (2013) four strategies for open education, and raises the question whether open education and MOOCs might be a way to reinforce research collaborations and research environments. The researchers displayed a positive attitude towards expanding the technology-enhanced learning and openness, and foresee few problems with openness when industry participates in teaching. Nonetheless, the scientists’ operating models and strategies for developing technology-enhanced learning and open education, are vague. Conclusively: although the interest is obvious, in order to succeed with technology-enhanced open education and strengthening the research groups, the variables for purposes, operating models, strategies, pedagogic models, and obstacles need to be calibrated and made more deliberated, preferably in collaboration between the scientists and industry.
The conditions for higher education teachers operating in a technology-enhanced education setting and an open educational context – such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – are different when compared to traditional teaching methods (e.g. in a lecture hall). This study investigates the grounds for 20 teachers at Swedish Higher education institutions to be involved in MOOC development projects. Six categories are found and described; including curiosity, merits, teaching development, flexibility, as well as the possibility to disseminate their research and expand their professional networks. Interviewees believed that the work was a viable way to strengthen their research portfolio, while also making a limited effort for teaching, enhancing the dissemination possibilities and strengthening their research networks.