Defining a Pedagogical Model: the TU Delft Online Learning Experience

Nelson Jorge
Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

Sofia Dopper
Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

Willem van Valkenburg
Delft University of Technology, Netherlands


The Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a traditional brick-and-mortar research university, which specialises in Science, Design and Engineering. The university has one campus with 20,000 Bachelor and Master students and, after building years of experience in open education, has recently started offering accredited online education. In 2007, TU Delft started a university-wide programme for OpenCourseWare (, and during the past seven years has developed more than 150 courses, covering a wide range of content from 15 Bachelor and 35 Master programmes. From the start, it resulted in more attention for education. Externally, the programme gave other educators the opportunity to use and enhance our content, while internally, it improved the course quality for our students. This led the university to develop an open strategy, not only for education, but also for research. The university leadership strongly believes that ‘open’ is an obligation for a public university. When in 2012 the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) movement started, the university board decided to join edX (, a consortium of top universities founded by MIT and Harvard, with a strong focus on open education. TU Delft was the first European partner to join the consortium. In September 2013, the first two TU Delft MOOCs started with in total more than 80,000 students. Currently we have 17 MOOCs open for registration, which have welcomed approximately 365,000 students from all over the world.

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