There is increased pressure on higher education (HE) graphic design lecturers to provide a more engaged platform for the evolving digitally engrossed student. This article explores Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as an educational experiment to help envision changes in HE design teaching. MOOCs have presented aspects of a plausible, although unresolved, online teaching model that has challenged many long-held beliefs of learning and teaching. This investigation considers aspects of MOOCs and their capacity to drive innovation in design education. It will analyse how these features might alleviate some of the pressures on teachers and enable a deeper dialectic in the learning space. I will argue that the importance of this study rests in the questions it raises about the capacity for design education to exploit the benefits of this ‘massive’ experiment.