KeywordsScience and knowledge
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As we live in a more and more digitalized world, we can easily admit that online learning plays an important role in life of people interested in personal development. ITU (International Telecommunication Union) released statistical data related to the continuously increasing number of internet users worldwide from 394 million (approximately 800.000 in Romania) in 2000 to 2710 million (almost 11 million in Romania) at the end of 2013. Given this reality, it becomes natural that even the educational environment switched the place of the classical classroom into the online environment. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) appears to be the easiest way to improve your knowledge and/or your skills as you are able to access the information you are interested at an academic level. Every lecture has a worldwide audience and the feedback provided to the professor comes instantaneously from all over the world. The present paper presents a comparative approach regarding several MOOC platforms in order to identify the benefits and challenges faced by users. Furthermore, the research identifies the level of attractiveness of such educational instruments within Romanian educational environment, particularly the degree of interest of Romanian students in attending such classes. Research methodology consisted in a survey based on a questionnaire. The respondents of the pilot sample are students of University Politehnica of Bucharest, the authors intending to expand the research to other universities. Practical achievements may include increased awareness towards existing platforms creating at the same time a detailed picture on users' profiles and their expectations, thus helping developers to address users' concrete needs and ultimately increase utility and impact of using MOOC platforms.