Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

Qualitative post GETZ MOOC Study


The AUAS has collaborated with several European universities and sports organisations to develop and roll-out a Massive Open Online Course (or MOOC) on gender inequality in sports leadership. The free course was used by lecturers in curricula of various universities and as additional self-learning options in several countries. The purpose of this qualitative study is to generate insights on how participants experienced the course and if it has enabled them to address the issue of gender inequality in their future careers.

GETZ project AUAS

Various universities and sportsorganisations have worked together to develop and roll-out the GETZ MOOC since 2018. Almost 500 people participated in the course by the end of 2020, more participants are expected in the future. The purpose of MOOC is to ‘tackle the issues around the gender imbalance in sport in relation to leadership and management roles in the industry which is heavily male dominated’ by means of education.

This qualitative study will be used in order to deeper understand how students experienced going through the MOOC and if it has enabled them to tackle the gender imbalance. The study as such serves as an addition to the online survey which is already in place and allows participants to provide feedback on the course.

The main themes within this qualitative research are:

  • The context of the participant including the extent of the problem of gender inequality in sports leadership and management.
  • The impact of the course on the learners understanding of the issue.
  • The impact of the course on the desire to bring change to to the gender imbalance in sport.


  • To deeper understand how students experienced going through the MOOC.
  • Has enabled them to tackle gender imbalance in their future careers.

Abovementioned covers the relevance of this qualitative study as well.

  • Firstly the social relevance to analyse the participants experiences lies within the fact that the European Union funded the development of the MOOC.
  • Secondly it is scientifically relevant, since online learning becomes more and more popular and further research on MOOCs as change interventions in certain subject areas is recommended (Broadbent and Poon, 2015; Robertshaw and Kotera, 2019).


  • Semi structured interviews are chosen for this qualitative study, since this instrument could help understand how participants in different countries have experienced the MOOC, how the impact on their daily lives has been and why the topic of gender inequality is important to them (Gratton, Jones and Robinson, 2010).
  • The interviews will be semi-structured in order to leave room for flexibility in the interview and the opportunity to dive deeper into certain answers. Researchers from the participating universities will conduct the interviews in their own language.

Expected results

A presentation of preliminary results at the WISE/ GETZ Conference in April 2021 and a publication of the final outcomes in the months after.

Contribution education

  • Students from Sportkunde - leerroute Sport, Management and Business and Sport Studies – track International Sports, Management and Business can earn an elective credit if they participate in the GETZ MOOC.
  • The course furthermore offers lecturers with the opportunity to use (parts of) the MOOC in their courses.

Contribution research

  • This research project will lead to a better understanding of using Massive Open Online Courses in Higher Education.

Contribution practice

  • Outcomes of the study will be shared with the workfield during a scientifical conference and in a publication.

External partners

  • University of Worcester
  • Molde University College
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Swedish Sports Confederation
  • European University Sports Association
  • Croatian Olympic Committee
Published by  Urban Vitality 18 March 2021

Project Info

GETZ project AUAS
Start date 01 Oct 2020
End date 30 Jun 2021