Working Paper 2: Introduction to Water Treatment 2013

Working paper 2: Water TreatmentThis report is to give more insight in the background, the implementation of the course and the results. The purpose is to provide useful information (and clean data) to the team of developers and teachers and to others to support their aspiration to improve online education. A comparative analysis of the first five DelftX MOOCs can be found in the ‘Working Paper DelftX MOOCs, the first year (2013-2014)’.


The course was designed as an introduction to water treatment systems on a bachelor’s level with a focus on basic drinking water and wastewater treatment technologies for urban water services. It was structured in two long-lasting modules: drinking water and waste water. The course contained video lectures, convergent exercises, tests, and animations illustrating relevant engineering and physical phenomena. The assessment was focused on graded homework assignments and exams for corresponding modules. The materials were regularly updated. The forum showed heavy use at the start, but low participation in the remaining period.

Students were quite satisfied with the overall quality, the pace of the course and the edX platform and would recommend the course to others. They would have liked some more collaboration and worked examples, but in general this course worked out well inspiring 88% of the completers to continue studying in this field. The decrease in the number of participants especially after the first two weeks is a common trend and time seems to be the most important reason. Attention is being paid to this phenomenon, but the focus typically in this phase of development is on the course completers. The course attracted more female (25%) than common in MOOCs up till now. The majority of the participants had no background in the field and most joined the course to increase their knowledge. The teachers, developers were faced with a demanding schedule for production, but the overall experience was rather positive and seen as a next step to further integrate online possibilities in the campus programme.


De Vries, P., Hennis, T., Skrypnyk, A., (2015). TU Delft Online Learning Research Working Paper #2:DelftX MOOC Course Report CTB3365 Introduction to Water Treatment 2013. Delft, Delft University of Technology. ISBN9789461864567.


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