WHAT IS A MOOC?
MOOCS are Massive Open Online Courses.
MOOC is a model for delivering learning content online to any person who wants to take a
course, with no limit on attendance.
A course of study made available over the internet without charge, to a very large number of
MOOC is an online course aimed at large-scale interactive participation and open access via
In addition to traditional course material, such as videos, readings and problem sets, MOOCS
provide interactive user forums that help build a community for the students, professors, and
MOOCS are recent development in distance learning.
A MOOC is an online course with the option of free and open-ended outcomes.
MOOCS integrate social networking, accessible online resources, and are facilitated by
leading practitioners in the field of study.
TYPES OF MOOCS
At the beginning, the first MOOCS had a strong and deep collaborative philosophy (cMOOCs),
but this philosophy has evolved to a commercial sense (xMOOCs).
A cMOOC emphasises the connectivist philosophy, it is a social platform for collaboratively
sharing and building knowledge within a community of people.
The connected aspect of learning is bought to the fore in a cMOOCs.
cMOOCs are not prescriptive, and participants set their own learning goals and type of
An xMOOC relies on a more traditional model of education, based on lectures recorded in
videos, and usually, is well financed.
XMOOC focus on concise, targeted video content – with short videos rather than full-length
lectures to wade through and use automated testing to check student’s understanding as they
work through the content.
xMOOCS include discussion forums, and allow people to bounce ideas around and discuss
learning together, the centre of the course is the instructor-guided lesson.
With xMOOCS, learning is seen as something that can be tested and certified.
HISTORY OF MOOCS
The evolution of technology and of new learning experiences have always
been closely related.
As distance learning specialists affirm, the field of distance learning had three
main generations: correspondence study, multimedia and computer-
The first of these learning models grew exponentially in Europe and United
States after the Industrial Revolution, especially because a more qualified
workforce was needed for the factories.
In addition, postal services were becoming faster, cheaper and more reliable.
For example, in the 19th Century, students from Australia were already able to
take correspondence courses from prestigious universities, such as the London
School of Economics, one of the first in the United Kingdom to offer distance
However, the first generation was still far from reaching massive numbers of
students like MOOCs are doing today.
Correspondence study only predominated until the arrival of electronic
media, which lead to popularization of radio and television as educational
tools in the 20th Century.
Teachers and learners from all parts of the world took advantage of the new
Those who did not have access to formal learning could watch or listen to
classes for free, wherever they were.
The content was adopted to reach different types of audiences, and even
students in remote areas could have knowledge in academic subjects.
But a main pedagogical factor was still lacking: students had hardly any
interaction with professors or other students.
Videotape was used by many distance learning initiatives but was criticised
because of its passivity.
The multimedia generation had populirised distance learning and allowed new
possibilities, but only computers and the web could unite forces to provide a
new e-learning infrastructure, mainly built upon networks and communities
MY CHOSEN MOOC
I am interested in learning more about fitness, health and nutrition.
My chosen MOOC will be on Nutrition and Wellbeing.
Allen, I. and Seaman, J. (2014) Grade Change: Tracking Online Learning in the
United States. Wellesey MA Babson College / Sloan Foundation.
Christensen, C. (2010) Disrupting Class, Expanded Edition: How Disruptive
Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns. New York: Mc Graw-Hill