Open Education Handbook/MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses)

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Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are a recent development in distance learning and open education. MOOC combine different OER, e-learning methods and social networks culminating in an online learning experience. MOOC have a relatively high media profile and are often the subject of controversial claims. MOOC grew out of the OER movement in Canada, where Stephen Downes and George Siemens developed the first MOOC ('Connectivism and Connective Knowledge') in 2008.

MOOC can take place entirely within a virtual learning environment, entirely outside it, or in some hybrid form. By definition MOOCs should be open in many respects, though this can mean different things in different contexts. They typically do not require entry requirements or tuition fees, and do not carry course credits that are valid towards a formal qualification.

It is common to distinguish different types of MOOC. The distinction made most often is between xMOOC and cMOOC.

Broadly speaking, xMOOC tend to:

  • Strive for large scale education, transmitting information to a wide audience
  • Make use of short video lectures
  • Feature quizzes and automated assessment

While cMOOC tend to:

  • Emphasize learner interaction
  • Make use of Connectivist and Constructivist pedagogies
  • Place the accent on forming learning communities
  • Use peer assessment

Some have argued that cMOOC represent the original spirit of the MOOC experiment more authentically, while xMOOC focus on scalable business models and sustainability.

MOOC Providers[edit]

There are an increasing number of ways to find MOOCs. Some of the search engines below are a good starting point.

The LinkedUp Project is encouraging the development of apps and prototypes that ease access to recommendations and guidance when choosing appropriate curriculum of courses and related resources. The Pathfinder track includes MOOC recommendations.

Institutions that offer MOOCs include:

Europe[edit]

Worldwide[edit]

Further resources[edit]